ENGLEWOOD — The Broncos with Eddie Royal the previous four years were capable of explosive kickoff and punt returns. The Broncos without Royal — who departed in March for San Diego as a free agent — were not, which is why they took a waiver-claim flyer on ex-Texan Trindon Holliday on Thursday.
Although Denver has replaced Royal’s production at wide receiver — which steadily declined after a breakout rookie season — they’re still scrambling at returner, and he’s missed.
“A lot,” said cornerback Champ Bailey. “I’m sure San Diego is glad he’s not playing this Monday night against him, because we know what’s happened before.”
Bailey is referring to the Monday night game in 2009 when Royal scored on a kickoff and punt return in the same game, an accomplishment only achieved 10 times in the AFL and NFL since the Broncos were formed in 1960, and only once before in Broncos history — by Al Frazier in 1961.
But Bailey believes the Broncos could have utilized Royal more over his time in Denver.
“Third downs, special teams, they’re using him to the fullest over there. I wish we could have used him that much,” Bailey said.
“I’m happy for Eddie personally, but we’re going out there to punish him this week.”