ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, who has been a limited participant in practice this week because of a hamstring injury, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High, as coach Nathaniel Hackett called Wilson’s status a “game-time” decision.
“He’s day-to-day at this point,” Hackett said after Friday’s practice at the team’s suburban Denver complex “… We can always adjust anything [in the game plan] to make sure we’ve got the best scenario out there; we just want to be sure that he can protect himself, that’s probably the most important thing.”
Backup quarterback Brett Rypien has taken a significant number of the snaps with the starting offense throughout the week, including in Friday’s practice, and would start if Wilson does not play. The 26-year-old Rypien has spent the previous three seasons on either the Broncos’ roster or practice squad before he won the backup job in this year’s training camp.
His only previous start in the NFL was against the Jets in 2020, a 37-28 Broncos win in which Rypien threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.
“I’ve taken more reps, obviously, this week,” Rypien said. “… You want to do your job the best you can and put some points on the board.”
Wilson has said he suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Wilson received a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam Tuesday morning and has since been officially listed as a limited participant in each of the past three days of practice.
Wilson has already been receiving treatment for a partial muscle tear near his right shoulder since the team’s Oct. 2 loss in Las Vegas. The Broncos leave Monday for London to prepare for the Oct. 30 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars before a Week 9 bye.
Hackett said Friday he’s had several conversations with Wilson, the team’s medical staff as well as general manager George Paton as the coach makes a decision about Wilson’s status for Sunday. Hackett said he believes Wilson has been forthcoming in those discussions about how the injury feels.
“I know [Wilson] is going to do the right thing; I’m going to do the right thing,” Hackett said.
Asked Wednesday if he thought he would be able to play, Wilson said: “I’m hoping so. I’m doing everything I can to be ready to roll. That’s always my mentality … If I can go, I’ll go. I’m going to try to do everything I can to be ready.”
As Hackett said, Wilson’s ability to protect himself by being able to escape trouble in and out of the pocket will factor greatly in the decision. The Jets’ active defensive front sacked Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers four times and hit him nine times overall in New York’s 27-10 victory Sunday.
Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week with five tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal attempt.