The Denver Broncos will conclude their season this Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Chargers. What this week has taught us should hopefully be that professional football is just a game. Away from records, performance, wins, and losses, ultimately life is more important.

Denver Broncos take the field for the final week of the season

On Monday night, time stood still as a scary situation involving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin occurred with him collapsing on the field after a play. After what many see as a routine play that happens every Sunday, a young man’s life was suddenly in jeopardy. At that very moment, a sport that entertains millions didn’t matter anymore.

This sport that so many love and embrace every week has a negative tendency to breed the attitude that professional athletes are out there solely for the entertainment of spectators, which is dehumanizing. The reality is simple, life is so much more meaningful than football. As the Broncos take the field for their final week of practice for the season, Monday’s event should require everybody to stop for a moment and realize this very message.

Broncos interim head coach Jerry Rosburg took to the podium on Wednesday to discuss the duality of sport versus life itself. Rosburg acknowledged that when two teams take the field against one another, it’s competitive in nature. As many often witness before or after games, football is a brotherhood and the respect players have for one another always puts things into greater perspective.

In reference to Monday Night’s event, Rosburg noted how at that moment when football became meaningless and life took center stage, it didn’t matter what color jersey players had on, or what staff member worked for which organization, everybody collectively united to care for one another.

“I think the danger of the game is real,” Rosburg said prior to practice. “We have a lot of guys injured this year and we have a lot of guys on IR. That is a risk that those that are participating in the game are aware it. They’re here and they’re willing to take that risk and they find enough value in the game itself to take that risk and walk out there.”

While the NFL and NFL Players Association have taken steps over the years to make the game safer, there is always a risk associated any time players strap up their helmets and throw on their shoulder pads.

“I think the National Football League in general and the players specifically in the Players Association, I would add has made good strides in making sure that this game is as safe as it possibly be without damaging the nature of the game,” Rosburg said during Wednesday’s media availability. “The players also are aware of that I think more to a larger extent than ever before where they respect the opponent. They are the opponent let there be no doubt when you cross the line, that’s them. But at the same time again, I guess I could go back to the original talk about a value structure, they value and recognize that those other guys on the other side of the field are doing the same thing they are and they respect that. I think you see that quite frequently before games, and you see that play frequently after games where players and coaches are embracing and they’re exchanging jerseys. That’s a sign to me of the respect that they have for one another because that is a shared risk.”

Rosburg believes that after speaking to players during their team meeting on Wednesday, he’d be surprised if they don’t have a great practice. Denver’s interim head coach expressed that players were reached out to on Monday Night after the incident surrounding Hamlin, offering players services like counseling or guidance if they needed it, which was utilized according to Rosburg.

Denver Broncos estimated injury report for Wednesday

Did Not Participate:
Calvin Anderson (ankle)
Damarri Mathis (concussion)
Eric Tomlinson (ankle)
Eric Saubert (knee)
Kendall Hinton (chest/foot)
Mike Purcell (elbow/ankle)
K’Waun Williams (knee)
Kareem Jackson (NIR- veteran rest)

Nik Bonitto (elbow)
Andrew Beck (elbow)
Baron Browing (back)

Earlier this week, the Broncos placed offensive guard Dalton Risner and running back Marlon Mack on injured reserve, officially ending their seasons.

What’s to come?
The Broncos will be back on the practice field on Thursday as they approach their final game of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers.