Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has faced much scrutiny for his lackluster performance on the field, but amid the team's three-game losing streak, he's also facing questions about his status off the field.
Wilson, who was seen being yelled at on the sidelines by defensive tackle Mike Purcell during Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, told reporters on Wednesday that he believes his relationship with his teammates is perfectly fine.
"I’ve got great relationships in that locker room," he said. "Whoever is trying to tear that down, you can’t. … There’s always noise, especially when things aren’t going the way you want them to."
Things haven't gone as planned since Denver acquired Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks in a blockbuster trade that cost it three players and five draft picks, and then rewarded him with a $245 million contract extension before he ever took a snap for the team. The Broncos are in the midst of a disastrous season and sit in last place in the AFC West with a 3-8 record.
Wilson's play has not come close to meeting expectations, as the nine-time Pro Bowl selection has thrown for just 2,369 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He has failed to develop chemistry with Denver's receivers, leading to an inept offense that ranks 25th in the league with an average of 319.1 yards per game.
The team fell under even more of a microscope after Purcell's sideline blowup. Both Purcell and Wilson downplayed the exchange as "frustration" after the game, but it likely indicated a deeper issue facing the Broncos.
While Wilson believes his standing with his teammates is intact, Mike Klis of 9News reported that his 34th birthday celebration on Tuesday night was attended by "about half the team."
The Broncos will try to end their skid when they visit the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) on Sunday.