The Denver Broncos injuries list added 3 starters on Sunday in their loss to the St. Louis Rams 22-7. Superstar tight end Julius Thomas was ruled out for the game after sustaining an ankle injury in the first half. Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos' second leading receiver, was knocked out of the game in the 3rd quarter after taking a vicious hit from Rams safety Rodney McLeod and was diagnosed with a concussion. Running back Montee Ball is still suffering from the right groin injury that has kept him out of the previous five games and was unable to play this Sunday because he was unable to get loose enough to play.
Denver Broncos Injuries on Sunday
At the top of the Denver Broncos injuries list is Julius Thomas. Thomas' injury is being reported as an injury to the actualJulius Thomas is suffering from an ankle injury.
ankle and not a high ankle sprain, which is actually good news. He was taken in by the trainers in the locker room to give him treatment hoping that he might be able to return, but they were unable to stop the swelling and he was ruled out for the rest of the game. Team sources are saying that he will get a MRI on Monday to assess the amount of damage to the ankle. The bad news is that even a mid grade sprain could keep him out for up to 2-4 weeks and could bother him for most of the rest of the season.
7th year tight end Jacob Tamme will have to step up big time to fill the shoes left by Julius Thomas. The truth is he will not be able to fill the shoes left open by Thomas. At 6'3", 230 pounds, Tamme is undersized by 20 pounds for a prototypical tight end so he will not be able to help much in the Broncos running game. The Broncos running game has not been very good this season anyway though as their running game is ranked 27th in the league.
Tamme's strength is his speed. He runs a 4.58 forty yard dash, which is faster than a prototypical tight end. Tamme has had two really good seasons receiving the ball in his 7 year career.
In 2010 with the Indianapolis Colts he caught 67 passes for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns. In 2012, his first season with the Broncos, he caught 52 passes for 555 yards and 2 touchdowns. So far this season, Tamme has caught 6 passes for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Last season Thomas caught 65 passes for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. So, Tamme has shown during his 7 seasons that he can be a very good receiving tight end and capable of putting up stats like Thomas did last season, so he can step up and help fill the void left by Thomas.
4th year tight end Virgil Green will also need to step up and increase his role. At 6'5", 255 pounds, he has the prototype size and with a 40 yard dash time of 4.54, he has the prototype speed as well.
Tamme and Green should be able to work together to fill the void in Thomas' absence.
Denver Broncos injuries list: Emmanuel Sanders
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was also added to the Denver Broncos injuries list on Sunday. Sanders is in the concussionEmmanuel Sanders is suffering from a concussion.
protocol stage that a player must go through before being allowed to practice or play again. How long he will be out is really up to how his body responds to the tests he must go through. Some players are able to come back the next week from a concussion even one from a hit as bad as the one Sanders took on Sunday. Other players that have suffered concussions from not near as bad of hits as the one Sanders took have been held out of action for a few weeks.
Once the Broncos team doctor signs off on Sanders' return, he will be evaluated in person by an unaffiliated concussion expert physician approved by both the NFL and NFL Players Association. This unaffiliated expert also must sign off on Sanders's health before he is allowed to return to play.
The void left by Sanders will need to be filled by Andre Caldwell and Wes Welker. These two will have to step up their games for the next few weeks until Sanders is cleared. Caldwell has the size and speed to take Sanders' spot and Welker must up his production. Welker's number of targets will go up and he must step up and make plays to fill the void left by Sanders' injury.
Denver Broncos Injuries List: Montee BallMontee Ball is still suffering from a right groin injury.
Running back Montee Ball remains on the Denver Broncos injuries list with a right groin injury. According to team sources Montee Ball did not suffer a setback as has been previously reported, he was just unable to get loose enough to play. Team sources said that Ball was having problems with it in pregame warm ups, but decided to give it a go during the game and after a few plays saw that he could not get loose enough to play. Ball's return to action will also be based on how well his body responds to treatment.
The Broncos running back stable has been hit hard by injuries. Ball had missed the last 5 games do to his right groin injury and was unable to play Sunday versus the Rams.
Denver Broncos injuries list: Ronnie Hillman
Already on the Denver Broncos injuries list, backup running back Ronnie Hillman, who was ruled out for the Rams game due to an ankle injury suffered versus the Oakland Raiders. It was first reported that Hillman would miss 2 to 3 weeks, but this past Monday head coach John Fox said that he would be listed as day to day from now on.
Second year running back C. J. Anderson has put together some really good stats this season. So far he has carried the ball 30 times for 172 yards, which is a 5.7 yard per carry average, which is very good. He has the highest yard per carry average of any of the Broncos running backs. He is on the short side at 5'8", but weighs in at 224 pounds, which is very good. His 4.53 forty yard dash time is prototype speed.
Rookie running back Juwan Thompson has prototype size at 5'11", 225 pounds, but with a 4.6 forty yard dash time he is just a tad big slow, but not bad. So far this season Thompson has rushed 30 times for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 4.0 yard per carry average is second on the team behind C. J. Anderson.
Anderson and Thompson should be able to fill in and do a very good job until Ball and Hillman are healthy. If Ball and Hillman are not careful they may come back and find their roles diminished after they have gotten off the Denver Broncos injuries list.
The Broncos have a very brutal schedule as far as the defenses they will face the rest of the season. Four of the final six teams they play have a top ten defense. Next up on their schedule is Miami with the 2nd ranked defense, then they have Kansas City with the 8th ranked defense, then Buffalo with the 6th ranked defense, and then San Diego with the 9th ranked defense. After that brutal stretch the Broncos then face the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders.