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Broncos Risking Not Having Kicker or Punter in Week 18

The Broncos are rolling the dice.
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In a meaningless Week 18 game, how cool would it be going in if you knew the Denver Broncos weren't going to ever punt it or attempt a field goal or extra point and always go for it on fourth down? 

With the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town for the season finale, that's a distinct possibility the Broncos are confronting after kicker Brandon McManus and punter Sam Martin landed on the reserve/COVID list. 

9NEWS' Mike Klis reported that Denver does not intend on bringing in a punter or kicker because it expects both players back by Saturday. But there's no guarantee McManus and Martin will pass through protocols in time. 

"For now Broncos not planning on bringing kickers and punters in for tryouts. Team expects Brandon McManus and Sam Martin back for game Saturday vs. Chiefs under new COVID rules. Having them test Monday was key. If not, always go for 2 and always go for it on 4th down," Klis tweeted on Tuesday.

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The last time the Broncos were put in a position like this, the team signed former XFL kicker Taylor Russolino in late December 2020 when McManus landed on the list. Russolino, arriving by way of Tom McMahon recommendation, missed a 51-yard field goal and two extra-point tries as the Broncos were stomped by Buffalo. 

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Perhaps the trauma of that event is still too fresh or maybe it's because the Broncos have nothing to play for except pride and draft position, so why not roll the dice on playing a game without kicking specialists? Damn the torpedos... 

In all seriousness, the Broncos expect to have their kicker and punter back so this probably becomes a non-issue by Saturday. But there's no guarantee. 

But, hey, the Broncos once played an NFL regular-season game without a quarterback so how bad could it be sans kicker and punter? 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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