The Denver Broncos face the distinct possibility of having to play a fourth straight game out of the gate without their perennial All Pro cornerback Champ Bailey.
The Champ is listed as questionable on the injury report, and if his comments are any indication, things are still very much up in the air for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles (video courtesy of the Denver Post):
While you would never make the case that the Broncos are better off without a player of Bailey’s caliber, they might be able to glean some benefits from his absence in the long run. For one thing, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has re-emerged as a lockdown corner, close to a #1 guy who can be left on his own. In moments he has played so well that one has to wonder if Bailey will see more passes as quarterbacks throw away from DRC later this season. That will be a significant change for Bailey, who for previous stretches of his career has gone games without a pass being thrown his direction.
This has also given increased playing time to Tony Carter, who already had experience from seeing a lot of action last season. And speaking of last season, if it taught us anything, it’s that the Broncos can certainly benefit from this kind of depth in the secondary (as can any NFL team, for that matter).
You would never, ever say it is a good thing for the Broncos to be without Champ Bailey, but sitting at 3-0 and looking ahead, they might be able to turn it into a positive in the long run.