Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson exits loss with concussion

DENVER — In a season when almost nothing went according to plan on offense, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will now have to deal with a concussion that could affect whether or how much he did in the last four Playing the season the team is playing.

Wilson was forced out of Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High after being knocked onto the turf at the end of a 13-yard scramble with 11 minutes and 45 seconds left.

He was evaluated for a possible concussion and ruled out soon after.

“[He put]his body on the line, man. We can say anything we want — we’re 3-9, they’re 9-3 and the guy is out there fighting his ass off trying to win the game,” Broncos backup quarterback Brett Rypien said. For me, that’s someone I want to follow.”

Coach Nathaniel Hackett said after the game that Wilson is officially on the league’s concussion protocol.

The Broncos, trailing 0-27 in the second quarter, were trying to make it a one-score game when Wilson got injured. On a third-and-11 from the Chiefs 16, Wilson pulled the ball down and ran for the 2.

Kansas City cornerback L’Jarius Sneed’s tackle hit Wilson’s helmet face down on the ground. He stayed there for a few moments, looking dazed as the team’s medical staff helped him to the sidelines. He was taken to the injury tent on the sidelines and then to the Broncos locker room.

“He fought the whole game,” Hackett said.

Wilson, who had 23 of 36 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns, had found some much-needed production as he helped fuel a Broncos comeback that began just before halftime. At 0:27, Denver Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes intercepted on back-to-back drives in the final two minutes of the first half, turning both turnovers into touchdowns — with Wilson hitting Jerry Jeudy on each.

Wilson threw his third TD pass on the Broncos’ first possession of the second half when a screen against running back Marlon Mack turned into a 66-yard catch-and-run score. It was Wilson’s first game with three pass TDs for the Broncos in a season in which he and the offense struggled mightily to score.

The Broncos went into the game with the league’s lowest offense at 13.8 points per game. Sunday marked the highest point total of the season as Wilson had started the game with eight touchdown passes in the Broncos’ first 12 games. But it was still Denver’s eighth loss of the season by seven points or fewer since the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

“Everyone had a choice about how they wanted to continue this game,” Hackett said. “…And they didn’t blink….We have to finish, we had the opportunity to win this game consistently…We want to win this game and we had the chance to do it.”

Rypien threw a touchdown pass to Jeudy to end the drive that injured Wilson but was later intercepted in the fourth quarter. He finished the game 4-of-8 with a 16-yard pass and the score as the Broncos have now lost 14 straight games to the Chiefs dating to September 2015 when Peyton Manning was their quarterback.

“Yeah man, frustrating, frustrating I didn’t make it,” Rypien said. “To see how hard Russ fought, how hard our offense fought.”

Because he’s on the league’s concussion record, Wilson must meet several benchmarks to first return to practice and then attend a game, including evaluations by an independent doctor. With four games left in the season starting with next Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals in Denver, the question will be how much time Wilson might be missing.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35235167/broncos-quarterback-russell-wilson-exits-game-concussion Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson exits loss with concussion

Emma Bowman

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