In dire need of a shot in the arm, the cavalry is coming to help the Denver Broncos. On the eve of its Week 8 bout vs. the Washington Football Team, it was announced that Denver has activated three players off injured reserve.
On Saturday, we learned that wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, and linebacker Jonas Griffith have been returned to the active roster. The Broncos also announced that linebacker Barrington Wade has been 'elevated' from the practice squad for Sunday's action.
Jeudy is obviously the biggest name among this trio and if any of them are going to provide a lasting spark to this impotent Broncos' offense, he has the best odds of doing so. Selected with pick No. 15 in the 2020 NFL draft, the former Alabama star produced a solid, if unspectacular, rookie campaign that most fans remember for his virulent case of the 'dropsies'.
However, Jeudy worked his tail off in the offseason to improve his hands for NFL-caliber competition and was the star of training camp. It appeared that he and newly-minted starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had quickly established a mind-meld and then, the injury bug struck.
In Week 1's victory over the New York Giants, Jeudy suffered a gruesome injury to his ankle that was later revealed to be a serious sprain. At the time, it looked far worse.
Fortunately, it wasn't and he's been working hard to get back on the field for the Broncos. Although we can't say for certain that he'll play on Sunday, due to some soreness he experienced on Friday, I'd be surprised if Jeudy doesn't return to the lineup especially based on the tonality of Vic Fangio's remarks on the subject.
“He experienced some soreness after working the last few days, so we took the conservative route," Fangio said on Friday. "[We] gave him a rest day and a full rehab day rather than be out here but we’re still optimistic for him.”
As for Okwuegbunam, he suffered a gnarly hamstring injury and was placed on IR on October 9. With Noah Fant's inability to impact the game week-to-week, the Broncos could use Albert O.'s 6-foot-5, 260-pound athletic frame.
Arguably the position most depleted this season, Denver's inside linebacker corps could receive a nice lift with Griffith's return. Used only on special teams early this season before he got hurt, the Broncos now have little choice but to throw out there anyone who's healthy enough to suit up, including the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Griffith.
It'll be interesting to see which linebacker starts next to Justin Strnad on Sunday. Will it be the new arrival Kenny Young, who'll only have about five days of real-time preparation before the game kicks off? Or could it be Griffith? Perhaps Wade?
All will be known in due time.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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