ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Although the schedule will get simpler for the Denver Broncos this month, the diploma of problem in reaching the playoffs retains going up.
The Broncos (6-6) lost leading vast receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a torn left Achilles tendon on Wednesday. He was harm in a non-contact drill originally of follow.
The Broncos shortly claimed vast receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from Buffalo, giving them a seventh-yr veteran to go together with their 4 remaining receivers, all of whom made their NFL debuts this season.
Sanders, who led the staff with 71 catches for 868 yards and 4 touchdowns in a bounce-back yr, was injured on a routine route. He sensed the gravity of the damage as he crumbled to the bottom, tearing off his helmet and rolling it away as teammates and trainers rushed towards him.
“It did not look good,” coach Vance Joseph stated, adding Sanders “was sore final week in his heel area and he felt nice at the moment.”
Sanders’ damage was the newest blow to a workforce that is misplaced seven starters from its opening-day lineup, together with six on offense.
“It harm, particularly with an Achilles damage, that’s a serious damage,” rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton stated. “He was our leader and he was a coach, too, so it was arduous to observe.”
Sanders’ damage got here three days after the Broncos lost star cornerback Chris Harris Jr . to a broken proper lower leg, an damage that would sideline him for the remainder of the common season.
Sanders crumbled to the grass in an area of the field that has several brown patches and has led to a number of slips over the previous few weeks, notably by rookie receiver Courtland Sutton.
Normally, the Broncos flip their two fundamental apply fields from a north-south configuration to east-west at midseason, but they did not do this this yr. Nor did they rotate particular person drills, leaving bare patches in several areas.
Requested if he thought subject circumstances performed any position in Sanders’ damage, Joseph stated, “I don’t, no. The fields are effective.”
Sanders’ damage amplifies odds the Broncos face in their quest to succeed in the playoffs for the primary time in the publish-Peyton Manning era. After surviving the league’s most arduous schedule by means of November, the Broncos’ next three opponents — 49ers, Browns and Raiders — are a combined 9-26-1. They end the season in Denver towards the Chargers, a workforce they beat final month.
“We will not cry about it,” Joseph stated. “We now have to maneuver on and go play a football recreation on Sunday.”
Winners of three straight, the Broncos (6-6) go to San Francisco (2-10) this weekend.
The Broncos traded prime receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Texans on Oct. 30 for monetary causes and to speed up Sutton’s progress by getting him into the beginning lineup reverse Sanders. After flashing in coaching camp, Sutton has taken his lumps as a rookie. He has 28 receptions — nevertheless it’s taken 59 targets — for 558 yards and three touchdowns.