Around the NFL  

 

Why Wesley Woodyard, Duke Ihenacho sat out Sunday

While Peyton Manning's offense continued to set records in Sunday's victory over the Titans, the defense was down to the second string at six different positions by the end of the game.

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, defensive end Derek Wolfe, free safety Rahim Moore and cornerback Champ Bailey missed the game with injuries.

The Broncos lost two more starters when middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard and strong safety Duke Ihenacho were benched for Paris Lenon and Omar Bolden, respectively.

Woodyard was arguably the NFL's finest coverage linebacker in 2012. His play has fallen off this season after suffering a stinger injury in Week 5. The coaching staff has told him to brace for a decreased role, so he can regain pre-injury form for the postseason, Woodyard said Monday on KDSP-FM.

Ihenacho was an early-season breakout performer as a first-time starter, but he's struggled in coverage of late.

"We wanted to look at Omar," coach John Fox said, via The Denver Post. "We took a look at some other guys a little bit to develop that throughout the rest of the season."

The Broncos' defense ranks a disconcerting 25th in yards per game and 26th in points per game. They have the luxury of resting key players with the offense carrying the load for the rest of the month, but they're going to need Woodyard, Ihenacho, Bailey and Wolfe back in the mix for a Super Bowl run.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15