In an effort to credit the Denver Broncos rise to 5-1 over the last six weeks to someone other than Tim Tebow many fingers have been pointed toward rookie linebacker Von Miller and Denver’s defense; the fact that Britton Colquitt is punting like an All Pro and/or the fact that the entire Broncos’ special teams has improved dramatically.
The most impressive stat has been the ability for Denver players to stay healthy. Yet, as the Broncos began their week thirteen practices the team is missing a key player from each of their much improved groups.
It was reported earlier this morning that Miller had surgery on his thumb to fix some torn ligaments he had incurred late in the fourth quarter in San Diego last Sunday. Miller refused to leave the game and his tackle for a loss in over time was essential in getting the offense the ball back for the game winning field goal.
As it stands right now Miller’s status for early Sunday is unknown, but cases can be made either way. As Mario Haggan pointed out, there are a lot of linebackers who play with a wrapped hand and do just fine. For the record that means that Haggan expects Miller to play. As do I, you cannot stop 10.5 sacks in 11 games with something as simple as a thumb injury.
Now wide receiver Eddie Royal was in a boot for the better part of this early week and today was sans boot. He seems less likely to participate in the game versus the Minnesota Vikings. I’d expect that Matt Willis (whom I will get much more into details about later) will fill in for Royal, which could create a major up tick in Tebow’s completions.
No, we did not forget about running back Willis McGahee, he was out today with what head coach John Fox called sickness (we call it a hangover, he will likely be fine by the afternoon and he has had a carb filled lunch). McGahee will play against the Vikings and their ninth ranked run defense.