The Denver Broncos look like they had a setback on the injury front with safety Justin Simmons was downgraded to a non-participant on Friday and is now questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. With edge rusher Frank Clark, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and nose tackle Mike Purcell all ruled out for this game, the Broncos defense is down bad on the starter front.
With the Bears as desperate for a win as Denver is, this could end up being a game that sets one team on course for the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Head Coach Sean Payton was asked if creating a crisis was easier when the team is struggling and he hilariously pointed out the obvious that losing by 50 points is, in fact, a crisis.
“The crisis—well, we don’t have to worry about creating a crisis if it’s real, right?,” Payton said on Friday “We have a crisis. I think it was meant more, that topic, for when things are all going well. You trust your instincts with each week in our league—where your team is at, and what you think they need. I don’t know that there’s a book for that, but experience certainly helps. There were two different seasons we started 0-4 in New Orleans and that’s not fun. We got back to .500, but the energy expended to do that takes a toll. The key is getting this first win. There are two teams playing the same game here, right?”
The crisis for both teams is their terrible defense and winless start through three games. The winner this weekend will at least have a chance to fight their way back to .500.
Here is your full Broncos-Bears practice report for Friday.
Broncos injury report
|Lloyd Cushenberry III||C||Illness||--||--||LIMITED||--|
Bear injury report
BOLD - Indicates change in status; NIR- Indicates not injury related; *- Team did not practice / report is an estimation;
STATUS DEFINITIONS: Did not participate (DNP); Limited: means less than 100 percent of a player’s normal repetitions; Full—100 percent of player’s normal repetitions; Out: will not play; Doubtful: Unlikely to play; Questionable: Uncertain to play