The Broncos (5-4) will host the struggling Philadelphia Eagles (3-6), November 14, and Simmons feels the team can’t be looking past the visitors, thinking the team is guaranteed a three-game winning streak heading into its bye week.
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‘Empty the Tank’
There’s a reason why the phrase ‘trap game’ is a part of the NFL lexicon, and Simmons doesn’t want his teammates entering the Eagles contest with misguided bravado and have a letdown performance following their impressive win at the Dallas Cowboys.
Preparation and mindset are key during the week, so the Broncos can’t afford to celebrate the wins over the Washington Football Team and the Cowboys, because beating Philadelphia would send Denver into its bye week at 6-4, but an upset loss would place the Broncos right back at .500.
Simmons knows the importance of earnestly preparing for the November 14 tilt.
“Just like how you can’t get caught up in the losses and what people are saying, it’s the same thing — you can’t get caught up in the wins and people patting you on the back,” Simmons said during the November 10 media availability. “It’s a fine line, week-by-week of going 1-0. This is going to be a really good test for our team. We need to empty the tank these next [few] days and hit the bye [at] 6-4. That’s what’s important.”
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater agreed with Simmons’s assessment, adding the Broncos need to tune out any outside noise. The veteran reasoned that the team blocked any outside negativity during their four-game slide, so this recent success should be handled the same way.
“When you take the cheese and you believe all the things being said, it can blow your head up and you feel like you’ve arrived, and we learned a huge lesson early in the season,” said Bridgewater. “We have to make sure we’re locked in and prepare the same way we did these last two weeks.”
Those that are able to participate in practices leading up to the Eagles game are expected to give their all in honing their craft. But there have been some notable names that haven’t been available to participate in sessions this week.
The Broncos reported a season-high nine players who did not practice on November 10. The previous high was only four, leading up to their Week 5 game at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The full list of guys who were either limited or couldn’t practice at all is staggering.
Defensive lineman McTelvin Agim (knee), left tackle Garett Bolles (knee), defensive tackle Shelby Harris (non-COVID-19 illness), right tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), wideout Tim Patrick (knee), tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (knee), outside linebacker Malik Reed (hip), rookie safety Caden Sterns (shoulder), and rookie cornerback Pat Surtain II (knee), all missed the session. Head coach Vic Fangio noted that Bolles, specifically, has a “less than 50-50 chance” of playing against the Eagles, meaning he could miss his second-straight contest. Massie is also not expected to play, which means the Broncos’ starting tackle tandem will likely be Calvin Anderson on the left side, and Cam Fleming on the right.
Key Guys Returning
All wasn’t doom and gloom for the Broncos during the November 10 practice, as tight end Noah Fant and key reserve guard Netane Muti both returned to work. Both were sidelined due to positive Covid-19 results, with Muti missing the previous two games and Fant missing the win over the Cowboys. Nose tackle Mike Purcell (thumb) was also a full participant, so the Broncos can take some solace that key players will likely be available against the Eagles.
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