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Broncos receive positive injury updates around several key players, including Jerry Jeudy and Ronald Darby

Zac Stevens Avatar
October 6, 2021

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Finally, there’s good news along the injury front for the Denver Broncos.

After missing nearly 10 starters at one point during Sunday’s 23-7 loss to the Ravens, the Broncos are on the mend.

First and foremost, Teddy Bridgewater is progressing through the concussion protocol as he was able to attend meetings on Wednesday. According to Vic Fangio, the starting quarterback has a chance of practicing on Thursday. If all goes well, it’s possible he could be cleared before Sunday’s game and play against the Steelers.

Another player that is trending in the right direction and could play on Sunday is Ronald Darby. Denver’s $30-million cornerback injured his hamstring in the Broncos’ first game of the season against the Giants and was placed on the injured reserve. After missing the required three games, he is eligible to return this Sunday.

Darby will return to practice this week and could possibly play, according to the head coach. The talented corner’s return would be a big boost to the Broncos’ secondary after giving up over 300 passing yards to Lamar Jackson in Week 4. Additionally, Patrick Surtain did not practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day with a chest injury suffered on Sunday.

The other side of the ball had encouraging news as well with one of Denver’s key playmakers.

After also getting injured in Week 1, and being placed on the injured reserve, Jerry Jeudy’s progress over the past week has been “very good,” according to Fangio. The former first-round pick was originally supposed to miss between six and eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. On Wednesday, Fangio said there’s now hope he returns on the earlier side of that timeline.

“Man, he’s attacking his rehab,” Courtland Sutton stated about his fellow receiver. “The dude wants to come back and contribute and come help and help us be successful.”

Since a player only has to be on I.R. for three weeks, Jeudy will be eligible to return whenever he is healthy. That timeframe would have him back between Week 7, when Denver plays the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday Night Football, and Week 8, when the Broncos host the Washington Football Team.

“What he brings to the table on the field is very, very special,” Sutton said, praising Jeudy. “To have him come back would be amazing. He’s attacking his rehab every day so that he can come back and contribute and help us go win some games. He’s progressing well from what I’ve been able to see going in there. I’m not part of the medical staff, so I don’t know exactly where he is in that process, but from what I see, he’s working his butt off to be able to get back.”

Denver could also get a boost to their running back room and special teams unit on Sunday. After returning to practice last week, it’s possible Mike Boone could be activated and play in his first game for the Broncos on Sunday. Boone surprised many with an impressive training camp, specifically showing off his skills as a runner. However, he injured his quad in the first preseason game.

Just as a team can’t have enough running backs, the same is true about cornerbacks, at least in Fangio’s eyes. Denver could be adding to their cornerback depth in a few weeks with the return of Essang Bassey.

“I think he’ll be ready to go whenever we need to bring him up,” Fangio said on Wednesday, as he explained the second-year corner’s ACL rehab is going well.

Since he started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, he has to miss the first six games of the season. After that, he can return to practice and be activated to the 53-man roster.

Along with Bridgewater and Surtain, Diontae Spencer (chest) and Melvin Gordon (lower leg contusion) did not practice on Wednesday. However, Fangio did not believe Gordon’s injury was serious.

After missing Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Dalton Risner, Graham Glasgow, Baron Browning and Andre Mintze all practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and are trending in the right direction.

Despite being hit hard with the injury bug, Denver managed to go 3-1 in their first four games. As the Broncos continue to prepare for a touch stretch of games, they are getting many of their key players back.


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