The answer on Ben Hamilton came Friday … and although it was necessary, it was one neither the guard nor the Broncos wanted — placement on the injured reserve list, summarily ending the starting left guard’s season without as much as a preseason snap.
“I just felt if it was my son, and he was Ben, there’s no way I’d want him to play with what he’s going through,” Head Coach Mike Shanahan said following Friday afternoon’s practice. “Even though Ben didn’t really want to go on I.R. — because he was hoping any week the symptoms would clear up — it would still take him a month to get back in football shape, and I think that he was putting undue pressure on himself to get back too quickly.”
The decision came after a conversation Shanahan had with Hamilton and his wife regarding his situation, which had not improved in the weeks since he suffered the concussion during training camp.
“After talking to both of them for a while, we came to the conclusion that Ben is going to go on IR this season. We thought it was in Ben’s best interest.
“He’s been struggling for the last six or seven weeks and there’s a big question mark if he’d be ready for the remainder of the season. We felt it was not in his best interest to try to come back.”
Shanahan said that he didn’t expect to see Hamilton much at Broncos headquarters over the coming months, mainly because his problems don’t require medical treatment, just rest.
“I just think he needs a little time away for the symptoms to clear up a little bit,” Shanahan said. “Most people when they go on I.R., usually they don’t hang around the facility very much.
“We think it’s in his best interest to stay away and get better.”
Shanahan added that he expects Hamilton to return at “full speed” in 2008.
In other injury news, both John Lynch and Javon Walker were at practice Friday, but their participation was limited. Both are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, as is tight end Stephen Alexander.