Vic Fangio Provides Encouraging Update on Courtland Sutton's Week 2 Availability
The Denver Broncos' offense flashed at times in the team's Monday Night Football debut but it was clear that something was missing from the equation.
Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
Sutton injured his shoulder a few days prior to the Broncos' season-opener, suffering a sprained AC joint in a freak play during practice. The game-time decision? No go.
The Broncos fell to the Tennessee Titans 16-14, due in part to the inability for any receiver to step up in the second half. Rookie Jerry Jeudy showed flashes but had two drops in crucial situations, which threw a wet blanket on his pro debut.
As the Broncos wrap up their practice for the week, head coach Vic Fangio provided an update on Sutton's progress.
"Courtland’s doing better, did better today than he did yesterday," Fangio said. "I think it will still be a game-time decision. He’s truly 50-50."
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While Fangio's "50-50" verbiage echoed his prognosis from last week, this time it feels a little different. Fangio is always going to err on the side of caution but make no mistake, Sutton has improved markedly over the last two days of practice. Fangio said it himself.
That doesn't necessarily mean Sutton will be able to go on Sunday but I like his odds a heck of a lot more this time around. If he continues at this rate of recovery, the team might not have to wait until game-time to make a call.
“Possibly, I haven’t been able to talk to him yet since practice has been over," Fangio said. "I think it’s a 50-50 thing. We’re going to see how he feels because he did more on it today. We’ll see how he feels when he comes in tomorrow, then make a decision. It could go to a pregame warmup.”
Whether Sutton plays or not, one silver lining that fans can hold onto is the progress of rookie second-rounder KJ Hamler. After suffering a rather serious hamstring injury that cost him most of training camp, Hamler missed the season-opener but was a full participant in practice each day this week.
The Broncos could use his (purported) 4.27 speed and with him being available to practice all week, surely offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will have plenty of notice and information with which to involve him somehow in the game-plan.
One thing is clear; if Drew Lock is going to keep pace with Pittsburgh Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger, he's going to need his No. 1 wideout and security blanket. But if Sutton is a no-go, the likes of Jeudy, Hamler, and tight end Noah Fant, three players the Broncos have invested a premium-round draft pick in over the last two years, are going to have to elevate their game and rise to the occasion.