Broncos Week 12 Injury Report: Five Starters Questionable
The Denver Broncos will take to the road this weekend to throw down with the 7-3 Buffalo Bills in upstate New York. Sitting at 3-7, the Broncos are running out of time to turn the ship around.
While most fans have given up hope of the Broncos making a postseason run, the team brass most definitely has not. However, garnering an eighth loss three-quarters of the way through the season might be enough for GM John Elway to face the facts.
The Broncos aren't 'there' yet.
But it's the NFL. You can never say never. Stranger things have happened.
Heading into Buffalo, the Broncos have ruled out OLB Justin Hollins and CB Cyrus Jones, while listing a whopping seven players as questionable to play on Sunday, including five starters. Four, if you no longer consider TE Jeff Heuerman a starter but according to the team depth chart, the Broncos still do.
The biggest concern for Denver comes on the offensive line, where LG Dalton Risner, C Connor McGovern, RG Ronald Leary, and RT Ja'Wuan James are each questionable for Sunday's action. The Broncos have gotten used to life without James, whom Coach Fangio qualified as a 50/50 coin flip when it comes to predicting his availability for Week 12.
But Risner and McGovern are offensive staples and arguably the team's two best O-linemen, while Leary is the veteran in the room and has really improved over the last quarter of the season. For what it's worth, Fangio has remained consistently optimistic that all three injured players will go on Sunday, and reinforced his messaging on Friday by saying he's "confident" they'll be ready to go.
Also banged up are the aforementioned Heuerman, WR Tim Patrick and special teams maven Joe Jones. Patrick suffered a shoulder injury last week in Minnesota, which was his first game back after missing the previous eight games with a broken hand.
Patrick turned in a four-catch, 77-yard performance in his return to the field and suffice to say, the Broncos will rely on him to help take pressure off of Courtland Sutton again this week. Heuerman has now missed two straight games, and perhaps coincidentally, rookie TE Noah Fant has posted back-to-back impressive performances in his stead.
As for the Buffalo Bills, they'll be without S Siran Neal (concussion) and OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle). Coming out of their Week 11 bye, the Bills are at relatively full strength as they play host to the Broncos.