Pittsburgh – Checked by Broncos’ coaching staff after he fell on his right shoulder during offensive play 13 in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, midfielder Drew Locke jumped off the bench and imitated a throwing move to see if all his parts worked.
The second attempt was not required.
“I was laughing,” said Locke, after the Bronco’s 26-21 defeat. “I’m not going to lose track of it in terms of how funny she feels, but I’ve been throwing football my whole life and I’m not necessarily going to say it felt natural right away.”
Locke is escorted to the medical tent behind the seat and eventually to the locker room, and he’s forced to watch the Broncos’ loss on TV like everyone else in the house.
Broncos is 0-2, but uh-oh-and-2 might be a more appropriate description.
Just two weeks into the start of the season, they saw the midfielder, the accelerating passing elite (von Miller), the top recipient (Cortland Sutton), the best corner player (A.J. Boy), and the co-backlink (Philip Lindsey) back down.
By the time midfielder Jeff Driskill was sacked in fourth out of 15 with 1:51 remaining, Locke had long since disappeared and seriously injured his injury when he appeared on a post-match video conference with his right arm in a sling. Two hours after the match, reports surfaced that Locke would be out in two to six weeks, but a source in the league said no timeline would be set until Locke undergoes an MRI test on Monday morning and the diagnosis is finalized.
“We will take it day by day,” said Locke. “I am so optimistic.”
That makes 1 person in Broncos County.
Even the most positive supporters should find it difficult to cover the craze for close losses (two and five points) this year and injuries (mentioned above). The best teams are able to cope with some injuries, but flawed teams like the Broncos are often doomed to poor health.
“We have a lot of men who got hurt right now, but we’re going to come back from that,” Noah Funt said. “Especially coming from last year, we had a very flexible team with (three) different players. We were able to adapt (Sunday) with Jeff and have a chance to win at the end of the match, which is something we had been planning all along.”
The Broncos were planning to get the lock on the whole time. That ended in the third and seventh games during Bronco’s second possession.
Call it the 4.03s that can define a season … derail it … and destroy it.
The Steelers went off-back TJ Watt about the right to tackle Elijah Wilkinson and got Luke’s hand on the ankle. But Locke faltered and as he tried to regain his balance, the outside back, Bud Dupre, blew himself up.
The right shoulder leads to the grass.
Locke’s rookie year in preparing for the season was interrupted when he injured his wrist while trying to extend a play.
“You have to stay healthy as a quarterback player,” he said. “It kind of goes back to my style of play. I like to go out and run and do plays.”
This aggressiveness could be a boon for the Broncos as long as Locke remains available.
So what’s the plan with Lock?
The Broncos should play it safe with the player they believe can stop the quarterback chaos that has plagued the franchise since 2016. Under this theory, Luke should be seated Sunday against Tampa Bay and after four nights at the modest New York Jets. That would give him 21 days between Pittsburgh and New England.
Driskel was signed to be a backup of Lock because Broncos loved its sport and precision. He had to show his athletic strength and toughness because he was sent off six times.
Driskill was an 18 of 34 lanes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. His objection was an acceptable throw that passed into Sutton’s hands.
Coach Vic Fangio said: “I think given the circumstances, when you have a young midfielder like Drew, (Driskill) doesn’t get as many shots in training as many backups do, plus we just spent a short week.” “Instead of all of that and facing a good defense, I thought he did a great job and would only get better if we had to keep going with him.”
Driskill, who will need to reserve extra time in the hot tub on Monday, said, “As a reserve midfielder, my job is to be ready at all times. I have prepared all week and my job is to give the team a chance to win.”
The Steelers (2-0) allowed the Broncos to hang around, failing to knock them out after advancing 17-3 (second quarter) and 26-14 (fourth quarter).
Melvin Gordon ran back 16 yards with 7:43 left to cut the lead down to five points.
After kicking the Steelers, Driskel took charge at the age of 18 with 6:08 left. At 3-11 of 38 Broncos, receiver Tim Patrick drew a 17-yard tackle by fullback Terrell Edmonds. In the next play, the acrobatic Fant’s got 23 yards and survived the Steelers’ replay challenge.
But Broncos was unable to find the end area. Edmunds Dressel was sacked in fourth and second places from the Steelers 15.
“That was on me,” Driskill said of the bag. “I have to find a way to get the ball out there.”
In uh-oh-and-2, the Broncos have to find a way to win if Locke is sidelined. They nearly beat Tennessee without Miller and Sutton. And they fought hard against Pittsburgh without many other players.
“We have proven our ability to put ourselves in a position to win against two good teams,” said Fangio. “We have to avoid the (negative) sequences that happen and have a big impact on the game.”
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