By SEAN BERMINGHAM
Usually a competitive team in the American Football Conference, the Denver Broncos have suffered these past two week with a litany of injuries greatly hampering both their offensive and defensive efforts.
During Week 6 the Broncos were beaten by the New York Giants and this past Sunday for Week 7 they were shut out 21 to 0 by their division rivals the Los Angeles Chargers. These recent thrashings have busted the division open, making the records of each team much closer all around with three of the four teams having only three wins heading into Week 8.
However, the Broncos were not the only team impacted by injuries this week. The Cleveland Browns who have not won a game thus far this season have lost their starting left tackle for the remainder of the season as Joe Thomas left the game Sunday with a tricep tear.
Sunday marked the first snap Thomas had missed in his 11 year career with the NFL, having a streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps played. Drafted in 2007 in the third round, the now 32 year-old lineman, Thomas has one year left on his contract with the Browns and has said that he will make the decision on whether he will continue to play professional football in the offseason.
Also among the season ending injury list is Carson Palmer, the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. Taking a hit from Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, Palmer broke his arm and threw an interception.
He will be added to the injury list along with star running back David Johnson, running backup Andre Ellington, and seven of their starting defensive players. It is a common belief among Arizona fans that their playoff hopes are mostly shot but the NFL is very unpredictable, except that backup quarterback, Drew Stanton, will take over the offense. Considering this depressing situation, the Cardinals subreddit has rededicated itself to bird-watching and is now more active than ever.
In Oakland, the drama was not injury related although Marshawn Lynch may have earned himself a suspension for one game. After a late hit on quarterback Derek Carr, Lynch came off the sideline and pushed a referee out of the way in an attempt to get in the middle of the altercation that was developing between the two teams.
Given the importance of the quarterback position for a team’s offense, it is considered poor form to hit them. The hit in question was delivered after Carr had already released the ball and the play had ended but the whistle had not been blown so it was a legal hit, just unsportsmanlike of the Chiefs defender. The result of Lynch’s intervention was an immediate ejection from the game and a one week suspension. He has since appealed the suspension so it is pending.