Robert Ayers Injury: Broncos Suddenly Dangerously Thin on Defense
Don't look now, but not everything in Denver is gravy after a 5-0 start in which the Broncos have looked like the NFL's current standard for offensive play.
Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. After a number of key contributors went down on defense in Denver's 51-48 win over Dallas on Sunday, and the situation leaves the Broncos dangerously thin moving forward.
Robert Ayers was the latest player to join the injury report in the Mile High City, as reported by CBS4 Denver's Vic Lombardi:
Robert Ayers wearing a sling after the game. Shoulder.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) October 7, 2013
As noted by ESPN's Jeff Legwold, Ayers joins Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) and Chris Harris (concussion) on the list of players who were forced to miss time against the Cowboys. Luckily, he was able to return to the game, per this tweet from the team's official Twitter account:
Ayers is back in the game. And sacks Romo for a 6-yd loss. #DENvsDAL— Denver Broncos (@DenverBroncos) October 6, 2013
Still, the news that he is in a sling is a bit disconcerting. The Broncos are still without Von Miller and Champ Bailey, and a lengthy loss of any key starters or role players would force management to search elsewhere to bolster depth.
Denver allowed Tony Romo to become just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards and five touchdowns on Sunday, and part of that has to do with all the player absences the team is dealing with.
Luckily, Peyton Manning and the offense were unstoppable and the defense came up with a huge interception when it mattered most. Unfortunately, it's unfair to expect the offense to continue to perform at an unworldly pace.
Then again, the Jacksonville Jaguars loom on the schedule in Week 6.
Don't expect the depth and injury issues to bite Denver on defense just yet. Miller and Bailey returning to the lineup will help, and the diagnosis on those injured Sunday is still unclear. If there is one thing to gripe about from Denver's performance this season, though, it's been on defense.
That makes small injuries feel like big ones when you're allowing 48 points to opponents.
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