BRONCOS

After not practicing Friday, Justin Simmons questionable

Sep 29, 2023, 3:02 PM

The Broncos might face life without Justin Simmons once again.

Friday, the veteran safety moved back to the side rehab field for the open-to-media viewing period of practice. After practice, the Broncos officially listed Simmons as questionable.

Given how the defense struggled in all aspects without Simmons against Miami, this would be a significant blow, even against a far weaker Chicago side.

If Simmons can’t play, Delarrin Turner-Yell would be in line for his second-straight start. Turner-Yell saw his first defensive snaps as a pro in relief of the ejected Kareem Jackson in Week 2. Turner-Yell started for Simmons last week.

The first of Miami’s 10 touchdowns came at Turner-Yell’s expense. But Jackson felt that Turner-Yell held his own as the game progressed.

“He actually played pretty good,” Jackson said. “And we expect that from him. He’s been here a few years now. … He’s one of the guys in the room that when he’s in there, he operates like a veteran guy. So, I mean, I was definitely happy for him, the way he played.

“He played physical. But for him, it’s just all about capitalizing and growing off of that each and every day, just trying to get better.”

Injuries to Caden Sterns and P.J. Locke — both of whom are on injured reserve — also helped push Turner-Yell into the lineup in Weeks 2 and 3. Locke is eligible to return next week.

JUSTIN SIMMONS IN QUESTION, BUT NO QUESTION ABOUT JOSEY JEWELL

That’s because Jewell did not practice all week and has been ruled out due to the hip injury he suffered Sunday in Miami. That will put Drew Sanders into action for his second-career start.

Center Lloyd Cushenberry also left practice during stretching due to an illness, but Payton doesn’t expect his status to be affected.

“We listed it on the injury report. I think he’s gonna be fine,” Payton said.

Meanwhile, edge rusher Frank Clark will miss a third-straight game due to the hip injury he suffered in practice on Sept. 13. A return by next week is possible, but Clark, a former Chiefs standout who won two Super Bowl rings in Kansas City, is pining to make sure he’s back no later than the Oct. 12 game at Arrowhead Stadium.

“And I’m praying I can be back,” Clark said Thursday. “At the end of the day, I thought I was going to be back to play this week. And I’m not ready. So, you can only hope that you’re gonna be healthy and hope that you’re gonna be back when you deal with what I was dealing with.

“I was dealing with a partial tear in my groin and my abductor. Damn near a Grade-3 tear. It was more serious than I thought. I usually play through everything. I’m not big on weeping. I’m not big on telling my guys they’re not going to see me out there at practice or on the field. So it kinda was a bummer.”

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