(CBS4) – The last time the Denver Broncos took the field was when they beat the New York Jets 37-28 on Oct. 1. With the extra time off the team had a chance to get some key players healthy. And they are needed, especially on offense, as they look to upset the favored New England Patriots on Sunday.
Phillip Lindsay, Noah Fant and Drew Lock all returned to practice this week. Lindsay will be playing for the first time since suffering a turf toe injury in the opening game of the season. Fant is “50-50” to play with ankle injury and Drew Lock is looking to return from an injury to his throwing shoulder in the Broncos’ Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I’m really excited to be back, Lock said on Wednesday. “It feels good to be doing what I love and doing what I was put here to do. It was great to be back with the guys, calling plays in the huddle and feeling the comradery of the team.”
This is the second season Lock has missed time because of an injury. Last season, he didn’t play much of the year due to a thumb injury. Now he’ll look for ways to better protect himself and stay on the field.
“I watched a lot of football when I was hurt, and I watched a lot of older guys and how they don’t take sacks. They know they’re going to get sacked and they know where their outlet is in order to get rid of the ball,” Lock said.
The Broncos need all the help they can get on offense as they have struggled. Denver is 27th in passing (214.3 yards), 29th in rushing (92.5 yards), 29th in total yards (306.8 yards), and 28th in points per game (20.5). The team also has eight giveaways which are tied for the 27th most in football. Lock hopes to jumpstart the offense by throwing the ball deep downfield against the Patriots 12th ranked pass defense.
“We knew with the guys that we drafted and the guys that we had here previously, that we were going to be able to push the ball downfield. It’s all about making the best of those opportunities,” Lock said.
“I think that Drew brings sort of a confidence to the offense and a swagger that I’m sure you’ve seen out there on the field whenever he makes good plays,” Dalton Risner said.
“You know that when he’s in there there’s a chance for a big play, and you know that if there’s a busted coverage or if there’s a seven-man blitz then there is an opportunity for Drew to make a play. And I think that gives everyone on the offense a bit more confidence.”
The Broncos play the Patriots on Sunday at 11 a.m. on CBS4.