Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson Enters Concussion Protocol After Frightening Hit

Posted on: December 12, 2022, 10:25h. 

Last updated on: December 12, 2022, 11:09h.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson suffered a concussion against the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury happened when he was knocked out early in the fourth quarter during a scramble in the red zone.

Russell Wilson Denver Broncos concussion Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, seen here after a tackle by Kansas City Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed at Empower Field, exited the game with a concussion. (Image: USA Today Sports)

After Wilson was evaluated for a concussion, backup quarterback Brett Rypien replaced him and finished the game.

During an AFC West divisional battle between the first-place and last-place teams, the Chiefs prevailed 34-28, improving to 10-3 on the season. The Broncos extended their losing streak to five losses in a row, slipping to 3-10.

Heading into Week 14, the Broncos were +9 home dogs against the Chiefs and covered the point spread in a 6-point loss. The Broncos improved to 5-8 against the spread this season.

For only the second time this season, the points total went over in a Broncos game. The total of the Chiefs/Broncos closed at 44 o/u, with both teams combining for 62 points. The record for betting the points under is now 11-2 for the Broncos this season.

The Chiefs are +500 odds to win Super Bowl LVII as the third favorite on the DraftKings futures board. Only the Buffalo Bills (+350) and Philadelphia Eagles (+450) have better odds than the Chiefs. With the victory over the Broncos, the Chiefs retained the #2 seed in the AFC playoff standings behind the top-seeded Bills.

Strong Performance for Wilson vs. Mahomes

Even though Wilson didn’t finish the game, he posted one of his best performances of the season. He completed 23-for-36 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He threw one interception and got sacked six times.

In addition to his strong passing game, Wilson led the Broncos in rushing. He rushed for 57 yards on four attempts, including the unlucky 13-yard scramble that resulted in the concussion.

The Broncos looked awful through the first 25 minutes against the Chiefs, falling behind 20-0 before Wilson gifted the Chiefs another touchdown with a pick-six. Willie Gay intercepted Wilson for a 47-yard touchdown and the Chiefs extended their lead to 27-0 with less than five minutes remaining in the half.

The Broncos finally got on the board late in the second quarter when Wilson connected on an 18-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Cornerback Patrick Surtain from the Broncos intercepted Mahomes on the ensuing possession. Wilson and Jeudy hooked up on the final play of the half when Jeudy scored a 5-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 27-14.

The Broncos scored on their first possession in the third quarter when Wilson tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Mack. After scoring 21 unanswered points, the Broncos trailed, 27-21.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes orchestrated a 72-yard touchdown drive, and the Chiefs extended their lead to 34-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Wilson KO’d in Fourth Quarter

Wilson attempted to keep the Broncos in the game with another scoring drive to start the fourth quarter. The Broncos were deep into Chiefs territory and facing a long third down in the red zone. With his receivers covered, Wilson scrambled toward the end zone. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed tackled Wilson short of the goal line at the two-yard line. Sneed stood up, but a motionless Wilson remained on the ground.

A closeup shot from the television broadcast showed a glassy-eyed and motionless Wilson. Medical staff quickly rushed onto the field to attend to him.

I looked down at him after the play, and I see him squealing and stuff like that,” Chiefs lineman Frank Clark told the Denver Post.

Two staffers helped a visibly woozy Wilson to his feet. He slowly walked to the sideline with a clump of turf from Empower Field stuck in his helmet.

Wilson was checked out in the blue medical tent on the Broncos’ sideline. He wanted to return to the game, but the staff took away his helmet and ruled him out with a concussion. TV cameras captured a huge welt on Wilson’s right temple.

“He was fighting the whole game,” said Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

“Russ was putting his body on the line, man,” said Rypien. “We’re 3-9, they’re 9-3, and the guy is out there battling his ass off, trying to win the game. That, to me, is somebody I want to follow.”

Rypien came off the bench and threw a touchdown to Jeudy, which was his third score of the game. The Broncos trailed 34-28 and never scored again. The Chiefs held off the Broncos and secured the victory.

Wilson Expected to Miss Week 15

After starting 2-1, the Broncos won just once in their last 10 games. The Broncos are the lowest-scoring team in the NFL this season because of a combination of factors, some of which weren’t under Wilson’s control. But as the quarterback, Wilson took a ton of guff from fans and drew sharp criticism from the media.

With the Broncos out of playoff contention, Wilson should miss at least the next game. There’s a chance he’ll be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

“We’ll go through that step-by-step process and do it the right way,” said Hackett after the game.

The Broncos host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. They then hit the road for away games against the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas in Week 16, and meet the Chiefs again on New Year’s Day in Week 17. The Broncos end the season with a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18.

Wilson played through multiple injuries this season. He suffered a minor tear in the lat muscle on his right shoulder in a loss against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4. He didn’t miss any time with the lat injury, but he missed one game with a hamstring injury. In Week 6, he partially tore a left hamstring during an overtime loss against the Chargers.

Rypien started against the New York Jets in Week 7, but the Jets prevailed. Wilson returned in Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. Despite the hamstring injury, Wilson led the Broncos to victory and ended a four-game losing streak.

If Wilson doesn’t clear concussion protocol this week, expect Rypien to start against the Cardinals in Week 15. Oddsmakers anticipate Rypien will start, and they opened the Broncos/Cardinals line as a pick’em.