By Romi Bean
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– When Emmanuel Sanders went down in Wednesday’s practice, it looked bad from the start. As he fell to the ground, Sanders immediately grabbed the back of his left ankle.
As he was taken off the field by trainers, he was unable to bear any weight on his left leg. Losing Emmanuel Sanders is unimaginable – and as #10 hobbled off the field, players couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing.
“He was our leader, he was our coach too, so it was hard to watch,” said rookie receiver Tim Patrick.
“Everybody really loves E. I felt really bad for him when he went down. He’s been such a great leader for us all season,” said rookie draft pick Dae’Sean Hamilton.
What’s worse is Sanders’ injury comes just days after the Broncos lost Chris Harris Jr. to a fractured fibula. So the Broncos have to finish the year without two of their most veteran, most talented players, but the Broncos backups are prepared, because they have to be.
“We’re going to miss Strap, he’s our leader in the secondary. But it’s next man up mentality. Chris is down, time to step up. We’re ready for things like that to happen,” said safety Su’a Cravens.
“When you see someone go down it sucks, but each person that’s been hurt will tell you the person replacing them has to do their job, because if they don’t the team suffers,” said Courtland Sutton.
The Broncos have lost five key offensive starters to injury this year, and traded a sixth in Demaryius Thomas. For a team that likely needs to win out to keep their postseason hopes alive, losing their top receiver and top corner in the same week is about as bad as it gets.