AFC Notes: Broncos, Colts, Titans

     

Broncos

The Broncos committed to QB Drew Lock this offseason and worked to build a strong offense around him. But GM John Elway cautioned there would be growing pains and that’s exactly what happened Monday night. Lock completed two-thirds of his passes for 216 yards and a touchdown without turning the ball over. But Denver managed just 14 points in a loss. 

“I feel like it was promising,” Lock said via Aric DiLalla of the team’s website. “Made some plays, but we want to be an elite offense. Tonight, with some of the things that we did, including some of the things I did myself, it just wasn’t elite for us.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes Broncos WR Courtland Sutton could be an extension candidate this offseason with a big year in 2020. 
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter says Sutton tried to go Monday night but was unable and is said to be “really close” to making a return.
  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio noted Broncos second-round WR KJ Hamler should be ready to practice in full by Wednesday, while the hope is to get Sutton back later in the week. (Mike Klis)
  • Fangio said RB Phillip Lindsay has a “turf toe type of” injury while CB A.J. Bouye had to leave with a shoulder injury. (Brandon Krisztal)
  • Bouye’s injury was a dislocated shoulder and the team is doing tests to see how much damage there is and how much time he’ll miss. The hope is not much. (Mike Garafolo)

Colts

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says the Colts are undoubtedly planning for G Quenton Nelson‘s extension next year. Nelson will still have two years under contract but he’s the type of player that gets extended as soon as he’s eligible, which will be next offseason. 
  • Nelson should blow by the current top of the market for guards which is $14 million per year, set by Cowboys G Zack Martin.
  • Fowlers adds that despite declining S Malik Hooker‘s fifth-year option the Colts could still sign him to an extension if he makes the strides they want. 
  • The Athletic’s Stephen Holder writes this Achilles injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Colts RB Marlon Mack, as he’s entering the final year of his deal and the team has basically already drafted his replacement. 
  • Holder notes Mack is just 24 and should be able to find another team but his market will be shot to bits as he’ll still likely be rehabbing his injury in March. 
  • NJ.com’s Mike Kaye lists the Colts as a team that could be interested in trading for TE Zach Ertz if the Eagles decide to move him this year or in the offseason. Kaye expects Philadelphia to ask for a second-round pick. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes second-round RB Jonathan Taylor will take the Colts’ starting running back job and never look back following the injury to Mack.
  • Breer also adds Taylor has made significant strides in the passing game over the last year or so, which has prepared him to play in HC Frank Reich’s offense.
  • According to Breer, Taylor draws comparisons to New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley.
  • The Colts hosted free agent LS Matt Overton and LS Taybor Pepper for workouts on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)

Titans

Titans K Stephen Gostkowski had a horrendous debut for Tennessee on Monday night. The veteran who is the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer missed three field-goal attempts and an extra point against the Broncos, taking 10 points off the board in a close game. Fortunately, the Titans were able to drive down and give Gostkowski a chance to win the game from 25 yards out and he converted for a small measure of redemption. 

“You don’t always get that lucky to get a chance to redeem yourself,” Gostkowski said via ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “But I’m just happy that the guys got to celebrate. I’m disappointed in myself and embarrassed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we won, and luckily, guys are happy going home.”

  • Titans HC Mike Vrabel expects Gostkowski to be able to bounce back: “For a guy that’s a career 87% field goal kicker, I think a lot of those corrections are going to be on him. …But it’s also on us to make everything around him better.” (Erik Bacharach)
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