Why Broncos best option might be to shut Russell Wilson down

Russell Wilson, Broncos (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson, Broncos (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Recent injury information on Russell Wilson reveals a worst-case option that might be in the Broncos’ best interest long-term.

The Denver Broncos have had a truly horrible start to the 2022 season. At 2-3, they sit alongside the Las Vegas Raiders as the basement dwellers in the AFC West, which was supposed to be an incredibly competitive division.

Five weeks in, the Broncos are looking like they may have made a massive mistake by trading for Wilson and extending him for a large sum of guaranteed money.

Through five games in Denver, Wilson has just 4 touchdowns and has thrown 3 interceptions.

Wilson’s poor play is better explained by recent reports that he has been dealing with a shoulder injury — a strained latissimus dorsi — that has impacted his throwing arm. As Tom Pelissero notes, he treated it with an injection which is uncommon for this injury.

Ultimately, it might be best for the Broncos to shut Wilson down temporarily so he can heal and come back at full strength, which is the more typical approach for this injury.

Dak Prescott nursed a similar injury by pulling himself out of action

Shortly after Pelissero’s report, his colleague Ian Rapoport pointed out that this is similar to an injury Dak Prescott experienced. Prescott’s injury timing was a bit more fortuitous, as it occurred during training camp so he had time to rest without missing games.

Wilson and the Broncos are rolling the dice. Behind the 8-ball in a competitive division, they need to do whatever it takes to win. It’s high risk and questionable reward… Maybe Wilson would be better off just taking a few weeks to let things heal up, as is standard with this injury?

Is a banged-up Wilson really better if it runs the risk of the injury worsening? Let’s say Wilson can take 2-3 games off, heal up, and return as the Russell Wilson we’re more familiar with. Three weeks off would position him to return to full strength during their Week 9 bye week, leaving nine more games on the schedule. Those nine games include:

  • Ravens
  • Chiefs twice
  • Cardinals
  • Rams
  • Chargers

You need a healthy Russell Wilson to win those games.

The games Wilson would miss in such a scenario are against the Chargers, Jets, and Jaguars. The latter two games should be potentially winnable even without Wilson.

This might have the Broncos wishing they kept Drew Lock as a part of the deal with Seattle that landed them Wilson to give them a decent stopgap while Wilson recovers. Right now, Denver’s backup is Brett Rypien who has only appeared in four career games.

We’ll see how this pans out for the Broncos, but it looks like he’ll continue to play.

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