Broncos Coach Vic Fangio Provides Update on WR Jerry Jeudy’s Return

Jerry Jeudy

Getty Jerry Jeudy #10 of the Denver Broncos lines up against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL preseason game at Empower Field at Mile High on August 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.

It’s an enormous week in Englewood, Colorado, with potentially devastating consequences awaiting Denver Broncos leader Vic Fangio and his 3-2 squad.

A demoralizing 27-19 loss at Pittsburgh — their second in a row — has mounted pressure on the third-year head coach. With division rivals Las Vegas coming into Mile High in Week 6, only a win will suffice.

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WR Jerry Jeudy’s Return ‘Getting Closer’

Denver’s sputtering offense was cause for concern through three quarters in Week 5 before quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his wideout group burst into life scoring 13 points and coming within one pass — and a two-point conversion — of tying the game. A slow start would be unacceptable against the division-rival Raiders.

Unfortunately, the Broncos won’t be able to count on sophomore stud Jerry Jeudy, who injured his ankle in Week 1, as he is still some weeks away from a return.

When asked about Jeudy’s progress, Vic Fangio provided a positive update on the former Alabama product.

“In the last 10 days to two weeks, he’s made good progress,” Fangio told reporters, October 11. “His return is not right around the corner, but it’s getting closer.”

The Broncos’ sorely missed Jeudy early on but the wideout backup brigade came through. One-time quarterback Kendall Hinton showed out with some clutch catches, including a fourth-quarter touchdown. While Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton — 7 receptions, 120 yards — put the offense on their back late on to give Denver some hope.

Fangio wasn’t thrilled with much during his October 11 press conference, but he was pleased with Tim Patrick’s seven-catch, 89-yard performance at Heinz Field.

“That was a great play on his part, knowing where the sticks were and what we had to get,” Fangio said, referencing the above fourth-and-five conversion. “He did a really good job on that. Tim is a battler. He’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s a guy that we have to get involved in the offense.”


Raiders Game Critical to Broncos’ Playoff Hopes

For all of the positives within the receiving group, Fangio knows things need to change quickly across the board, given the state of the AFC West.

AFC West Standings After Week 5

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1)
  2. Denver Broncos (3-2)
  3. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)

A loss to Las Vegas would be crippling to the Broncos’ division title — and playoff — hopes. The Denver head coach completely understands why the game seems so pivotal to Broncos Country.

“Every game is important,” Fangio said. “Obviously, this one being the next one is critical for us, especially coming off two losses. We want to get back on the right track. The Raiders are in the same boat, and they’ll be feeling the same way. It’s a big game for us to get back going in the right direction.”

For the Broncos to be any chance of defeating a talented Raiders team they’ll need to improve on their 16.7% conversion rate on third down from Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh.

“Obviously, our first- and second-down offense has to be better — both in the run game and pass game — so we’re not in so many third-and-longs,” Fangio said. “When you do get in third-and-longs, you have to be able to convert some of them. You can’t get shut out. It’s two-fold there. We have to throw it and run it better on the early downs, and we have to be able to convert some of the longer ones to keep drives going.”

Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic


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