Battered Broncos Piling Up Injuries With All Those Losses

John Elway bounded with optimism over his 53-man roster just three weeks ago, declaring he was “excited about the football team we have.”

And why not?

Veteran pass rusher Von Miller appeared primed for a big bounce-back season, Courtland Sutton was the gem of a deep wide receiving group and running back Phillip Lindsay was coming off his second straight 1,000-yard season.

The Broncos GM had acquired defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye via trades and lured running back Melvin Gordon in free agency.

Altogether, that group sported a combined 18 Pro Bowl appearances.

Three weeks in, the only one left standing is Gordon, a two-time all-star, after news Monday that Casey tore a biceps tendon in Denver’s 28-10 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.

That’s three defeats and three sidelined stars — Miller (ankle), Sutton (ACL) — for the snake-bit Broncos. Out with less serious injuries are starting QB Drew Lock (shoulder) and starting defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (knee).

“We have sustained a lot of injuries, there’s no denying that,” said Vic Fangio, the first coach in franchise history to post back-to-back winless Septembers. “But we’re going to keep fighting and keep preparing and have guys go out there and give it their all and do their best to try and get us a win.”

The Broncos visit the New York Jets (0-3) on Thursday night and Fangio said he’s still undecided who will start at quarterback, Jeff Driskel or Brett Rypien.

Newcomer Blake Bortles isn’t in the mix yet.

“Blake was here two days last week and to expect him to be able to play on a short week where practice is very limited would be unrealistic,” Fangio said.

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