ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Wilson’s pulled hamstring will cause him to miss a game for just the fourth time in his 11-year career Sunday, reports from the NFL are saying.
Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, whose team has lost three straight to fall to 2-4, initially listed Wilson as questionable for the Broncos’ game against the New York Jets (4-2) at Empower Field, but now he has decided to hold off on playing him altogether.
Wilson was injured during the Broncos’ 19-16 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night and he has been limited at practice all week.
“He is day-to-day up to this point,” Hackett said Friday. “So, it will probably be (a) game-time (decision). We just want to be sure that he can protect himself,” Hackett said. “I think that is the most important thing.”
The decision has since been made to bench Wilson for this week’s game in order to give him more time to rest.
Wilson’s game is based on his ability to slide the pocket and make off-schedule throws on the run, although he hasn’t been adept at that in Denver as he was during his decade in Seattle.
Wilson is off to a tough start in Denver with just five touchdown passes and 20 sacks through six weeks.
Wilson said Wednesday he hoped to play, saying, “If I can go, I’ll go.”
The only games Wilson has missed as a pro came during his final season in Seattle last year when he sat out three games with a broken finger.
With Wilson compromised by his second injury in two games, Hackett gave a good chunk of the first-team snaps at practice this week to backup QB Brett Rypien, whose only career start came against the Jets in 2020, when he threw for two touchdowns and was intercepted three times in a 37-28 Denver win.
Wilson and practice squad veteran Josh Johnson also got some work at practice this week. Wilson, however, appeared limited in his range of motion during stretches prior to practice the last two days.
Two weeks ago, Wilson flew to Los Angeles following a 12-9 overtime loss to the Colts to receive an injection to treat pain in a muscle near his throwing shoulder.
Hackett said Wilson is no longer bothered by the shoulder injury and that he looked good at practice Thursday and Friday following a walkthrough on Wednesday.
“He’s a grinder. He works hard and he’s tough,” Hackett said. “That’s who he is — he fights through everything.”
Wilson isn’t the only veteran quarterback off to a rough start in 2022, but he gets most of the attention as four of his games have been in prime time and the Broncos are last in the league in scoring.
Other veterans whose numbers aren’t as good as usual include Tom Brady and Matt Ryan with eight TD throws in six games and Kyler Murray with seven TD tosses in seven games.
Also, Ryan is on pace for a career-high in interceptions as are Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford and Lamar Jackson as defenses have cut down on scoring across the league with heavy use of zone defenses, especially inside the 20-yard line.
Yet, the spotlight is brightest on Wilson following his blockbuster trade from Seattle in the offseason that netted the Seahawks three players and five picks. The Broncos’ new ownership group signed the nine-time Pro Bowl QB to a five-year, $245 million extension before the season.
Source: Rocky Mountain News