To keep pace in a challenging AFC playoff chase, the Broncos will likely need a win Sunday against the Bengals and rising star quarterback Joe Burrow. The second-year player, who was the top overall draft pick a year ago, has been impressive throwing to Ja’Marr Chase and a bevy of dynamic offensive weapons. Cornerback Pat Surtain II, safety Justin Simmons and Denver’s secondary will need to keep track of Chase and be prepared for when Burrow extends plays. But running back Joe Mixon poses a similarly dangerous threat, as he’s already crossed 1,000 yards on the season.
The Broncos’ offense has entered a groove on the ground behind Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams, and they could be relied upon once again. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sharp in Denver’s Week 14 game against Detroit, and he will likely need to put up a similar performance against an offense like Cincinnati’s.
On Friday, the Broncos announced defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (foot) and inside linebacker Kenny Young (concussion) are doubtful for Sunday’s game. Tackle Bobby Massie (hip), safety Kareem Jackson (back), cornerback Nate Hairston (neck), Gordon (thumb/hip), Williams (knee), defensive end Shelby Harris (ankle) and safety Caden Sterns (shoulder/neck) are questionable.
For the Bengals, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (illness), center Trey Hill (illness), tackle Isaiah Prince (illness) and linebacker Markus Bailey (neck) are questionable.
The full week’s injury report can be viewed here.