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Tuesday’s dark day is “ancient history,” but a new concern is arising for the Broncos

Zac Stevens Avatar
September 8, 2021

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There’s no two ways about it, Tuesday was a dark day for the Denver Broncos.

Before dawn, the darkness set in when it was revealed that last year, the Broncos’ quarterbacks—Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Jeff Driskel and Blake Bortles—not only tried to “fool the system” regarding the COVID-19 protocols, but then lied about it.

Of course, the initial story—as outlined by Lock’s own tweet—was that the quarterbacks let their masking “slip” while in the Broncos’ facilities preparing for their upcoming game against the New Orleans Saints.

However, as the NFL quickly found out—followed by the rest of the world finding out Tuesday morning—there was more to the story. As surveillance video showed, the quarterbacks removed their contract tracers—which are to be worn at all times in the facility—and placed each one in a different corner of the room to “fool the system.” They then sat together to watch film.

That, of course, led to Kendall Hinton leading the Broncos at quarterback against the New Orleans Saints. Playing a receiver at the most important position in sports led to a 31-3 embarrassing loss.

“To me, that’s ancient history,” Vic Fangio said on Thursday, when asked about the new public revelations to the incident from nearly a year ago. “We dealt with that back when it happened. I said my peace then and we’ve moved on.”

That itself would have been a big enough black eye for the team on Tuesday. But another punch landed in the afternoon when Bradley Chubb was arrested after failing to appear to an Aug. 6 court day.

In the spring, the 25-year old was charged with driving under restraint and for driving with license plates that were over 60 days expired. The court date for Aug. 6 was set and Chubb failed to appear, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest.

Fangio didn’t feel the need to address the situation with the team.

“I had a good friend of mine over in Greenwood Village who is a high-standing citizen here in the Denver area and he had the same thing happen to him,” Fangio said, downplaying Chubb’s indecent. “He laxed on paying a traffic citation and the next thing you know he went through the same thing that Bradley went through. Bradley’s a high standing individual, just like that guy is. It’s over and done with.”

Less than 24 hours later, Tuesday’s darkness was washed away by time and the 90-degree Mile-High heat.

But that didn’t burn away all of Chubb’s problems.

On Wednesday, as the Broncos began their true game prep for the New York Giants, it was revealed that Denver’s star pass rusher was trending in the wrong direction.

Days before the Broncos’ final preseason game, Chubb tweaked his ankle in practice. Despite that, he played in the final preseason game. After the game, however, his ankle was so sore that he was held out of the entire following week of practice. But Fangio was still confident he would be able to play.

The head coach’s tone wasn’t as optimistic on Wednesday as he revealed Chubb’s ankle is bothering him “a little bit” more this week than it was last week.

“It’s just been slow to come around,” Fangio added about Chubb’s ankle. “Bradley’s ankle is still troubling him some. He’ll get some work on the side and then we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”

On Wednesday, the star pass rusher participated in some of the team stretch. He, however, stayed put when his teammates did stretches that involved even light jogging.

With an additional 16 games following Sunday’s matchup against the Giants, the Broncos are weighing whether to let Chubb begin his fourth year in the NFL in New York or hold him back another week.

“We’ll do the best thing for him and the team,” Fangio said.

If Chubb isn’t able to play, or if he’s limited, Malik Reed and Jonathon Cooper will be counted on to step up.

“Malik’s been the beneficiary here of the misfortunate we’ve had at that position the first two years and played a lot of football for us,” Fangio said, adding he’s “very” confident in Reed. “So he’ll be ready to go.”

Just as Tuesday’s worries washed away, another, potentially more impactful, issue arose.

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