With the news that five defensive players — including three starters — will sit out Sunday’s home matchup with the New York Jets, the Broncos locker room shared a simple philosophy.
“The next guy up has got to perform,” said David Bruton, who said he’ll be ready to take advantage of his opportunity if he’s asked to step in at safety with Brian Dawkins and Darcel McBath out.
Bruton started a Week 15 matchup against Oakland last season when Renaldo Hill sat out with an injury, registering five tackles and a pass breakup. He said that experience has made him more confident while approaching a similar circumstance this week.
“I know that I can play at the NFL level, not just special teams,” he said. “Just treat this week like every other week — prepare, take notes how I always do, watch the film — nothing out of the ordinary. There’s no sense in changing the routine because I’m always prepared.”
In addition to Dawkins and McBath, Robert Ayers, Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard will also miss the contest.
Even though the players won’t be on the field on Sunday, they’re still ready to help the team get ready in the meantime.
“We’ve got those veteran guys to give us tips and tidbits on what to look for, what to see, how to attack a certain block or route combination or formation,” Bruton said. “There’s a lot of things that these guys can help provide us with to help us be more prepared for the game.”
Jarvis Moss, who could see more playing time at outside linebacker in Ayers’ stead, said he expects the team to rally around the adversity.
“That’s tough, losing guys like we did this week,” he said. “I know our coaches will have us ready. They’ll have a plan for us to be successful on Sunday, and we’ve just got to take it to the field.”
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com