Jerry Jeudy returned off injured reserve in the Denver Broncos' Week 8 win over the Washington Football Team. Jeudy has easily been the team's most productive receiver since.
Meanwhile, Courtland Sutton — hot off the heels of getting a fat four-year extension — has become persona non grata. Since Jeudy's return to the field, Sutton has been targeted 18 times. In five games.
Jeudy, on the other hand, has been targeted 30 times. Sunday night's ugly loss to the Chiefs saw Sutton once again disappeared from the Broncos' offensive game plan despite garnering the most targets he'd received since Jeudy's return, finishing with two receptions on six targets for a whopping... 15 yards.
On Monday, head coach Vic Fangio was forced to address the correlation between Jeudy's return and Sutton being iced out of the offense.
“I think it’s coincidental more so than by design, for sure," Fangio said. "We’d like to get the ball to Courtland as much as we can. Courtland is a playmaker for us, and we’ve got to find a way to get him the ball.”
Sutton is a very quarterback-friendly receiver because whether it's running a slant or a curl, or a vertical 50/50 ball, his big 6-foot-4 frame and my-ball mentality pay dividends to the passer. Just ask Drew Lock.
Teddy Bridgewater, for whatever reason, has gone away from Sutton. Even Tim Patrick, who also got paid over the Broncos' bye week, has just 22 targets since Week 8.
Whatever the malfunction is, this has to be viewed as a DEFCON-level problem by the team brass. There is too much talent at the skill positions for Bridgewater to ignore them.
Teddy was supposed to be that savvy veteran point guard who could distribute the ball to the Broncos' play-makers and let them go to work. Obviously, it hasn't shaken out that way even though Bridgewater is poised to set career-high numbers this season.
Think about that. For how bad the Broncos' passing offense has been all year long, and Bridgewater is about to set career-highs? That's the quarterback Fangio and company idealized to lead this offense.
No wonder the Broncos find themselves in the pickle they do.
As it stands, Sutton has 47 receptions for 649 yards and two touchdowns. Imagine how his numbers would look if he hadn't been iced out of the offense for the past month.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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