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Russell Wilson Will Start for Broncos vs. Rams After Clearing Concussion Protocol

Doric SamDecember 19, 2022

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson warms up against the Kansas City Chiefs before an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will start Week 16's matchup against the Los Angeles Rams after clearing concussion protocol.

"Russell is going to be playing next week, but I thought Brett [Rypien] did a really good job," Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said.

Hackett said on Dec. 16 the team decided to rule out Wilson for Week 15 against the Arizona Cardinals despite the fact that he cleared concussion protocol.

Rypien threw for 197 yards and a touchdown against an interception in the Broncos' 24-15 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

Wilson was forced to exit early in Denver's Week 14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after his head slammed on the turf during a fourth-quarter scramble. The veteran signal-caller laid on the field for a bit before being helped to the sideline by the team's medical staff. Prior to his exit, Wilson had been enjoying his best outing of the season with 247 passing yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Those numbers amounting to one of Wilson's "best" performances may come as a surprise, but the 2022 season has not gone as was expected when Denver acquired him in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection has struggled to develop chemistry with his new teammates and has thrown for 2,805 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions this year.

The Broncos have also failed to be competitive this season. At 4-10, Denver has the fifth-worst record in the NFL. Seattle also owns the team's first-round pick in the 2023 draft.

With draft position not playing a factor in the team's thinking, it makes some level of sense to have Wilson return and hopefully work out the kinks the rest of this season.