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Broncos have used 8 gamers at 2 inside linebacker positions

Broncos have used 8 gamers at 2 inside linebacker positions

Stopping the run has been a problem since Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson went down.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — To start with there have been Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell.

They have been the perfect of the Broncos’ inside linebackers. They weren’t the most recent. Each went down with season-ending torn pectoral accidents – Jewell within the second recreation at Jacksonville and Johnson in recreation six towards the Raiders.

Then got here Justin Strnad, Micah Kiser, Curtis Robinson, Baron Browning, Kenny Younger and Jonas Griffith. When there are eight gamers at a two-position group, simple arithmetic says you’re all the way down to the fourth string inside linebackers.

“Yeah and a few of them weren’t in camp with us,’’ stated head coach Vic Fangio, who additionally runs the protection. “That’s when it turns into more durable.”

> Video above: Broncos chasing playoffs, host Bengals on Sunday.

Kiser, Younger and Griffith have been acquired after coaching camp and the preseason. Robinson, an undrafted rookie, has since been launched.

No marvel the Denver D has struggled at occasions to cease the run. Bear in mind Cleveland’s third-string working again D’Ernest Johnson speeding for 146 yards on 22 carries in a Thursday night time primetime loss? Or Browns’ smallish quarterback Case Keenum working via a Strnad sort out on the 3-yard line on his manner in for a landing?

Simply this previous week, in an in any other case spectacular win towards Detroit, a COVID disaster inside the Lions locker room had them calling up Craig Reynolds in an emergency. The follow squader rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries.

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And it’s simply not eight gamers on the two spots. It’s eight kinds of play.

“Communication-wise it’s been powerful. Everyone performs the place in another way,’’ stated security Justin Simmons, who serves because the quarterback to the defensive gamers lined up behind the entrance. “You’ve your set guidelines, however everybody sees issues in another way. So that you at all times have to speak and discuss via these issues.’’+-

Simmons stated he and security mate Kareem Jackson performed with 10 cornerbacks final yr. The depth downside at that place helped Simmons and Jackson take care of the within linebacker challenge this yr. With Younger within the concussion protocol, the Broncos’ beginning inside linebackers Sunday towards Cincinnati shall be rookie Baron Browning, who missed a lot of the offseason and coaching camp with accidents, and presumably Griffith, who was acquired for his particular groups abilities however has now jumped Strnad and Kiser, who’s simply getting back from a groin harm.

And right here comes the Bengals’ Joe Mixon, one in all solely two NFL rushers who has crossed the 1,000-yard barrier with 4 video games remaining.

“We’re making an attempt to get that honed up the perfect we will,’’ Fangio stated of his run protection.

RELATED: Broncos top-selling jersey at staff shops: Demaryius Thomas’ No. 88

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RELATED: Kenny Younger has been an inside linebacker in demand

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