The Denver Broncos hosted the Dallas Cowboys last night for their first preseason game of the season. Even though Denver got the victory, they took a loss at an important position in their starting lineup.
Middle linebacker Jonas Griffith will miss the next four to six weeks with a dislocated elbow, according to Mike Klis.
Griffith had been starting as the other middle linebacker next to Josey Jewell throughout all of training camp. Griffith had made some big-time plays in camp and opened many eyes during practices.
Four to six weeks does mean that Griffith will miss the rest of the preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season against the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.
The third-year vet was traded to the Broncos in August of 2021 from the San Francisco 49ers. During his time in Denver last season, Griffith started in four games, but appeared in 13. Griffith had 46 tackles in 2021 along with four tackles for a loss.
Who Do the Broncos Add at Middle Linebacker?
The Broncos will definitely need to add some depth at the middle linebacker position.
With general manager George Paton only having five draft picks in next year’s NFL draft, it could be difficult for Denver to go ahead and trade for Bears linebacker Roquan Smith after his trade demand.
Paton loves his draft picks and has made it known that he wants to have close to ten picks each draft. If the Broncos do land Smith, they would have to possibly give up a player or two along with picks that are not in first or second-round picks in next year’s draft.
Broncos Country shouldn’t get their hopes up on landing Chicago’s All-Pro Linebacker.
In the offseason, Denver added linebacker Alex Singleton in the offseason to just a one-year deal.
Singleton played the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles appearing in 42 games. After playing on special teams during his first season with Philadelphia, Singleton became a starter by week six of the 2020 season. Last season, Singleton was voted by his teammates as a team captain.
The Broncos will give the 28-year-old a real shot to replace Griffith as the starter, but he must make some big plays in this preseason. Singleton had just two tackles in last night’s preseason game.
Denver hosted veteran linebacker Joe Schobert for a visit back on July 30. Schobert appeared in 16 games last season for the Pittsburgh Steelers totaling up 112 tackles and knocked down six passes.
Previously Schobert spent time with the Jaguars in 2020 and the Browns before that. In 2017, the former Wisconsin Badger led the NFL in tackles which then led to Schobert getting a nod to the Pro Bowl.
The Broncos can easily go ahead and bring Schobert in on a one-year deal to not only fill in for Griffith, but to also add some depth to the middle linebacker position.
Run Game Needs to Be Better
Denver’s top two running backs, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon did not play in the first preseason and it showed.
Instead, Denver tossed out their No. 3 running back in Mike Boone along with backups Stevie Scott, Ja’Quan Hardy, and Max Borghi.
Those four running backs rushed for a combined 42 yards last night. That wasn’t good enough for Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
The Broncos will take on the Bills on Saturday, August 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern for their second preseason game.