The Denver Broncos have suffered a brutal loss on offense as wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders left Wednesday’s practice with what is believed to be a torn Achilles, per Adam Schefter. The injury is one teams can figure out fairly quickly, but they will put him through tests to confirm.
If he is done for the season, that means he will not be playing on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers host the Broncos at Levi’s Stadium (yes, Captain Obvious statement). The Broncos defense and Phillip Lindsay are the much bigger concerns, but this is a huge loss for Case Keenum and the offense.
Sanders currently leads the team with 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas was his partner on the outside, but the Broncos traded Thomas to Houston shortly before the trade deadline. Tight end Jeff Heuerman is now second on the team with 31 receptions, while rookie receiver Courtland Sutton is second with 558 yards and three touchdowns.
This will mean big things for Sutton, but this likely means Phillip Lindsay gets even more work. He’s been impressive as a rookie, leading the NFL with 6.1 yards per carry, and currently fourth with 937 yards on the season. The Broncos entered this week ranked 20th in passing efficiency, but second in rushing efficiency. Sutton will see plenty of looks with Sanders out, but I have to think the 49ers will gear up even more against the Broncos run game and dare Case Keenum to beat them in the pass game.