ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson remains in the league’s concussion protocol, and coach Nathaniel Hackett said Monday that Wilson’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals is now in the hands of the team’s medical staff and the independent physician who must approve any return to the field.
So, Hackett would neither rule Wilson out for Sunday’s game, nor predict whether Wilson would clear the protocol this week.
“We’re going to do everything the way that the medical doctors, the independent doctors, we’re going to do every single — safety is by far the most important thing,” Hackett said. “We’ll continually talk to [Wilson], talk to everybody else about that and make sure we do the right thing.”
Wilson was examined by doctors Monday as part of the protocol and was in the Broncos’ complex as Hackett said, “He felt great today when we saw him, looked great, but we want to make sure we do everything the right way.”
Wilson was forced from Sunday’s game, a 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High, after he slammed to the turf on a 13-yard scramble with 11 minutes, 45 seconds left to play in the game.
On a third-and-11 from the Chiefs’ 16-yard line, Wilson pulled the ball down and scampered to the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. On the tackle by Kansas City cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, Wilson’s head hit the ground.
He stayed on the ground for a few moments and appeared woozy when the team’s medical staff helped him to the sideline. Wilson was taken to the injury tent on the sideline and then to the Broncos’ locker room.
Asked Monday whether Wilson was unconscious at any point after the tackle, Hackett said: “I believe, it looked like it on film, but I haven’t gone in and talked to the medical doctors entirely, we get all those medical reports as we move forward.”
“[He was] putting his body on the line, man. We can say all we want, we’re 3-9, they’re 9-3 and the guy is out there battling his ass off, trying to win the game,” Broncos backup quarterback Brett Rypien said following Sunday’s game. “That to me is somebody I want to follow.”
The Broncos (3-10) are one of the first teams in the league to have been eliminated from playoff consideration. And the Broncos, who have had none of their starting offensive linemen play in every game this season, with two of the starters on injured reserve, surrendered six sacks to the Chiefs and 11 quarterback hits.
With four games remaining in the season, Hackett was asked Monday, in that light, whether there would be any consideration to keeping Wilson out of the lineup even if he were cleared medically to play at any point over the next four weeks.
“Right now, we’re just concerned for his safety and we want to make sure he’s healthy,” Hackett said. “So we’ll just take that day by day and continually talk to our medical team and to Russell.”
Wilson was 23-of-36 passing for 247 yards and three touchdowns — his first game as a Broncos quarterback with three passing touchdowns — when he left the game to go with 57 yards rushing, including the play on which he was injured.
His interception was returned for a touchdown by Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay.
Broncos QB Wilson in concussion protocol, status uncertain