Broncos run defense could be under fire from Packers
Oct 21, 2023, 10:07 PM
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Hamstring injuries have dogged Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones this year. And for the Green Bay Packers, that represents a significant problem as they attempt to navigate life in the post-Aaron Rodgers era.
That’s where the pregame dive into numbers begins.
This is the Packers’ record when Jones accumulates at least 100 yards from scrimmage since he joined the team in 2017. Green Bay is 18-11 when he has 60 to 99 yards from scrimmage. But when he has 59 or fewer yards, the Packers are 15-19; when he doesn’t play at all, they’re 5-9-1 — including losses in five of the last six games when he didn’t play.
“Yeah, I mean, you’ve just gotta know where he is,” Broncos edge rusher Nik Bonitto said. “He’s always a threat. Whether it’s first, second down, we’ve gotta key on him and know where he is so we can be able to have a plan for him and hold him in check.”
Green Bay is also 28-6 when Jones logs at least 18 total touches. And considering that Jones is expected to return — and that the Broncos rank dead last in rushing yardage allowed on a per-game and per-carry basis — Jones should be a focal point.
The Packers’ record in road games immediately following bye weeks over the last 10 years, beginning with a 29-10 Sunday Night Football defeat at Denver in 2015. Green Bay is 5-5 overall after byes in the last decade, but that obviously comes with a significant road-home split.
In that same span, the Broncos are 6-4 when facing teams following byes, including a 3-1 record since 2018. The Broncos are 4-2 at home since 2013 when battling a team coming off of a one-week respite.
Denver is 23-16 all-time when facing a team coming off of a bye, including a 9-6 mark at home.
The number of transactions involving wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey since the Broncos’ preseason finale:
- Aug. 29: Released Humphrey from preseason roster.
- Aug. 30: Signed Humphrey to practice squad.
- Sept. 9: Elevated Humphrey to game-day roster.
- Sept. 13: Promoted Humphrey from practice squad to 53-player roster.
- Oct. 11: Released Humphrey from 53-player roster.
- Oct. 12: Signed Humphrey to practice squad.
- Oct. 12: Elevated Humphrey to game-day roster.
- Oct. 18: Promoted Humphrey from practice squad to 53-player roster.
- Oct. 20: Released Humphrey from 53-player roster.
- Oct. 21: Signed Humphrey to practice squad.
- Oct. 21: Elevated Humphrey to game-day roster.
This includes a dizzying SEVEN transactions in the last 10 days.
The most recent two moves came Saturday, when the Broncos re-signed Humphrey to their practice squad and elevated him to their roster for Sunday. That came one day after the Broncos released him — for the third time since late August and the second time in 10 days — to make room for nose tackle Keondre Coburn, a waiver claim from Kansas City.
Humphrey has played in each game this season. He has more offensive snaps than rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. But for the Broncos to utilize Humphrey again, they will have to move him to the 53-player roster.
Teams can elevate an individual player from the practice squad just three times in a season. Sunday’s game will mark the last elevation for which Humphrey is eligible this year.