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Russell Wilson Gets Emotional over Support from Broncos Teammates: 'Meant the World'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 1, 2023

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters how much it meant to see his teammates (including wideouts Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler) defend him publicly this week following the team's 51-14 Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Rams amid a report that teammates were upset about the signal-caller's "attitude."

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

Russell Wilson got emotional postgame. Had tears in his eyes after being asked about the guys on the team that stood up for him this week. <a href="https://t.co/VjMvl7eqhI">pic.twitter.com/VjMvl7eqhI</a>

Aric DiLalla @AricDiLalla

Russell Wilson got a little emotional when asked about what it meant to him that Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, etc. had his back this week:<br><br>"It meant the world to me, because I give my all every day. I don't know anything else. ... All I want to do is help this team win."

It's been an ugly season for the now-4-12 Broncos, who entered this season with playoff expectations after adding the nine-time Pro Bowler via trade from the Seattle Seahawks.

However, the Wilson-led Broncos have scored the fewest points in the league and lost 11 of their last 13 games.

The low point occurred on Christmas Day, when Wilson completed 15 of 27 passes and threw three interceptions.

Both sides of the ball imploded against a 5-10 Rams team missing a bunch of starters, and L.A. scored on all of its drives minus the final one, which ended in victory formation.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired after the game, and a report from Pro Football Hall of Famer (and FS1 analyst) Shannon Sharpe soon emerged that painted Wilson in a negative light.

UNDISPUTED @undisputed

"Russell Wilson wants to be famous more than he wants to be a good football player. The players inside that locker room don't like him! He has not earned their respect. He thinks he's better than they are and they sense it."<br><br>— <a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonSharpe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShannonSharpe</a> <a href="https://t.co/ByEG9CXxc6">https://t.co/ByEG9CXxc6</a>

He added, per Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post:

"I don't know who the head coach is gonna be, but the first thing you do [is say], 'Russell Wilson, I'm locking this office. You will no longer have an office. All those parking spaces you get the stadium, they're gone too — because you're putting yourself in front of the team.' I said it before, I'll say it again, and I stand by it: You ticked a lot of people off with your attitude, bro. You can come out here and talk about how we're a team and I'm good with my teammates, but deep down inside, they're seething, and I'm gonna leave it at that."

ESPN analyst Booger McFarland added his two cents.

Booger @ESPNBooger

I was in a locker room with Peyton he is an all time great There is a way to be a part of a team even though everyone knows u are the star quarterback Russell doing things wrong and why the organization allowed it? no idea. Hopefully they get this changed soon <a href="https://t.co/k3FNhZSekV">https://t.co/k3FNhZSekV</a>

However, Wilson's teammates jumped to his defense. In addition to Jeudy and Hamler, offensive tackle Garett Bolles (among others) spoke as well. Wideout Courtland Sutton also retweeted Jeudy's remarks.

Jerry Jeudy⁴ @jerryjeudy

I ain't gonna keep looking at these false statements about my boii russ man, as a teammate who sees the elite work ethic this man has is incomparable. He got an office because he's committed his life to this game. I never had a teammate who motivate me more then russ 💯 <a href="https://t.co/G8sTe3Hllg">https://t.co/G8sTe3Hllg</a>

KJ HAMLER @Kj_hamler

Y'all really trying to bring this man down. Russ Is the most dedicated and hard working teammate I have had. And y'all wanna bring up this to put him under. Man stop it. 3ski a legend in my eyes. I Understand this season isn't the way we wanted nor anybody wanted. <a href="https://t.co/731VuHfiNK">https://t.co/731VuHfiNK</a>

Garett Bolles @gbolles72

Broncos Country: <a href="https://t.co/3tHYCQKNCK">pic.twitter.com/3tHYCQKNCK</a>

Broncos interim head coach Jerry Rosburg also called the criticism "a bunch of crap."

To the Broncos' credit, they fought hard in a 27-24 road loss to the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs following a tumultuous week.

It was an impressive result against the 13-3 Chiefs, who were trailing 17-13 in the fourth quarter before scoring back-to-back touchdowns to take a 27-17 lead. The Broncos got one touchdown back but could not get the winning score.

Wilson finished 26-of-38 for 222 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 27 yards and two more scores.

He'll lead the Broncos in their regular-season finale next week at home versus the Los Angeles Chargers.