Talk about adding injury to insult.
The Denver Broncos are looking sloppy for a second straight game to start the Nathaniel Hackett era. After losing in Week 1 to the Seahawks, now they are losing players, to injury as well.
Update: Both wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and cornerback Patrick Surtain II each downgraded from questionable to out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.
In the first quarter, Hackett dialed up a tricky one, a flea flicker in which Javonte Williams took the handoff and threw it backwards to Russell Wilson, who then threw to Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy dropped the pass, but he was also landed on by the defender.
That contact, being sandwiched between the defensive back and the ground, hurt Jeudy’s shoulder and he was graded as questionable to return, but was then downgraded to out.
Later in that first half, and into the second quarter, it was blossoming superstar Patrick Surtain II who was injured, seemingly while engaged with a block. Surtain, too, was graded as questionable and also downgraded to out.
Jeudy is a key piece of the Broncos attack on offense, catching a massive 67-yard touchdown from Russell Wilson in Week 1. His play today was even more counted on considering K.J. Hamler is was held out of the contest. So, that means Denver is now relying on Courtland Sutton, Tyrie Cleveland, Kendall Hinton and Montrell Washington at wide receiver for the rest of the day if Jeudy can’t return. They also have a bevy of tight ends and both Williams and Melvin Gordon.
Still, Surtain is an even more valuable player for Denver. He’s arguably a top-5 cornerback in the league as only a second-year player and the best cornerback the Broncos have. Plus, star safety and defensive leader Justin Simmons was placed on Injured Reserve this week and unable to play today.
Even with both Simmons and Surtain, the Broncos defense was incredibly sloppy in the first half of the Week 1 loss to the Seahawks. Denver’s D has been so-so today against the Texans, but the Broncos enter halftime tied 6-6 with the woeful team from Houston.
With any hope, the Broncos will be able to come back against the Texans, but without Jeudy and Surtain, that’s going to be a tall task even against sad Houston.
Both players were downgraded from questionable to out at halftime.
The Broncos were able to mount all the mistakes — the 13 penalties, the delay of games and more — to hold on and win 16-9.