Courtland Sutton's promising third season will start late.
The Denver Broncos wide receiver was a long shot to play in Monday night's season opener against Tennessee due to a sprained AC joint, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, and is indeed inactive.
If Monday night's game were a playoff contest, Sutton would've likely played, but caution won out in Week 1, Rapoport added. Sutton sprained the AC joint during practice Thursday.
Sutton has recorded over 1,800 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in his first two professional seasons spent largely as the green target in a transitioning receiving corps. Now, he's the No. 1 receiver in a group of young, promising that also includes DaeSean Hamilton and rookies Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, among others.
Hamler joined Sutton on Saturday's injury report as questionable, and on the inactives, potentially increasing the level of difficulty for second-year quarterback Drew Lock in his first start of the 2020 season.
Denver is attempting to build on positive momentum gained from its finish to 2019, in which Lock proved he's worth at least another season of chances as starting quarterback under coach Vic Fangio. His journey continues Monday night.