As if the outlook weren’t bad enough for the Denver Broncos after Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, details are now emerging about the longer-lasting effects of that game. The bruising style of the Ravens has caught up with the Broncos, and a host of players are set to miss significant time with injuries. The full list, via the National Football Post: Second-year linebacker Robert Ayers, playing well and helping to fill the void of injured sack master Elvis Dumervil, broke his foot and could miss up to 12 weeks; safety Brian Dawkins could be out for up to three weeks with a strained knee ligament; and defensive back Andre Goodman (leg), safety Darcel McBath (ankle), and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) will all miss at least one week, sitting out Sunday’s game at Invesco Field against the New York Jets.
The New England Sports Network rightfully points out that the depleted defense couldn’t come at a worse time for the Broncos. Last night, the Jets’ prowess was on display, as the team racked up 29 points on the Minnesota Vikings in rain-soaked New Jersey. They did it with smart play from second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez and the league’s top-ranked running game, which shouldn’t have too much trouble claiming copious yardage on the Broncos’ 25th-ranked running defense. Contrast that with Denver’s last-ranked rushing offense, and the Broncos are in for a serious battle against the Jets.
The Denver Post’s Dave Krieger takes a look at the peril the Broncos face without as much as a mediocre rushing game: “If the Broncos hope to make anything of this season, they will have to figure out a way to do…much better than they did Sunday.”