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The Denver Broncos are a terrible football team that is going nowhere and just fired its coach. The good news is that the players are still fighting hard. The bad news is that they’re fighting each other instead of their opponents.
In the midst of an absolute beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams — arguably the second-most disappointing team in the NFL this season — a beatdown nearly happened on the Broncos sideline.
Late in the third quarter, down 34-6, Denver went three-and-out. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But on the drive, starting quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked twice. Again, nothing out of the ordinary.
But following the two sacks, not one player on the Broncos offense even attempts to help Wilson off the turf. The closest player on both plays is offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. Fleming appears to look right at Wilson on both plays but on neither does he offer a hand.
Many, rightfully so, are pointing out how much Wilson’s teammates must really dislike him to not try to help him up. In fact, I’ve often use this as a good barometer for what an offensive line really thinks about its quarterback. Go watch any Buffalo Bills game.
Josh Allen will scramble for 10+ yards and his linemen sprint down the field to pick him up off the grass. Wilson’s teammates won’t even take two steps and bend over, slightly.
Backup quarterback Brett Rypien was unhappy with the treatment of his fellow quarterback and said some words to the Denver offensive line. Dalton Risner, the Broncos Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, forcefully shoves Rypien and then tells him to “Do something!”
The CBS cameras didn’t catch the altercation, but they reported that something was up.
Someone had a different angle, though, and caught the dust up.
Not a good look for a team that has had plenty of bad looks throughout the season. One of them being a 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams had scored 52 points the past three weeks, combined, for what it’s worth.
Also, the irony is that Risner is the team’s Walter Payton award nominee. That is an award given by the NFL to a player who shows “outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on it.”
Safe to say this probably eliminate Risner from contention. Maybe they can swap him out for Brett Rypien.
After all, he stood up to five men nearly twice his size to defend a player that is nearly universally hated in the locker room.
If that doesn’t count as community service, I don’t know what does.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ