DENVER (CBS4) – Injuries are piling up for the Denver Broncos and linebacker Joe Mays says it’s just time for other players to step up.
Mays was the guest on CBS4′s Xfinity Monday Live!
Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, cornerback Champ Bailey, running back Knowshon Moreno, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, and linebacker D.J. Williams were all inactive going into the game against Cincinnati. Then wide receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Julius Thomas were injured during the first half of the game.
“The next man up is the best man up,” Mays said. “That’s the best way I can explain it. It means that you’re on the team for a reason, so if your number is called the best thing you can do is go in there and play your hardest.”
But saying it and doing it are two different things. Last year the Green Bay Packers had a long list of starters on injured reserve and yet they won the Super Bowl.
“It’s a chemistry type of thing. Once you’re with a team for so long and the players get a chance to gel; it’s just a fact of believing your teammate next to you is going to do (well),” Mays said. “I have no doubts that my teammates are going to go out there and work hard and do their best and eventually do whatever it takes to get a win.”
Mays said he’s hopeful Dumervil and Bailey will be able to play next week against the Tennessee Titans. The Broncos are looking for its 400th regular-season victory Sunday, entering the contest with a 399-365-10 (.522) all-time record.
The Titans upset the Baltimore Ravens last week and Mays said that was a surprise.
“Tennessee came out and played their best game of the season. They lost their first game and they were able to come back out and play better and they got a win,” he said.
Running back Chris Johnson is the focus of the Titans offense, but veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck stole the show against the Ravens, throwing for 358 yards. But will the Broncos go after Hasselbeck the way he went after Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton?
“We’ll see. I’m pretty sure nothing is going to change with the scheme,” Mays said. “We’ll see when it comes time to start watching film and things like that.”
Things got chippy when the Broncos and Titans met up last year and Mays said he hopes it doesn’t happen again.
Tennessee leads the all-time series 20-14-1, including a 13-6 advantage at home. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. on CBS4.
Watch more of the video with Mays in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.