The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a short week as they prepare to take on the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. The good news is the Broncos are relatively healthy heading into the matchup with one notable exception. Starting strong side linebacker Wesley Woodyard is unlikely to play due to an ankle injury suffered in the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For everyone wondering why the Broncos hung on to DJ Williams despite his off the field issues; this is why. Williams will start if Woodyard can’t go on Thursday night. No one including the Broncos likes the off the field issues with Williams but having him as a backup is a great luxury. Woodyard is having a Pro Bowl caliber season and no one is saying he won’t be missed, but the Broncos defense will be fine with Williams in the starting lineup.
Despite all of his nonsense, Williams is well liked and respected in the locker room and has not been a distraction since returning from his suspension. On the contrary, he has played in any role that he’s been asked to play and has not disrupted the chemistry by demanding that he be inserted into the starting lineup. Williams will get a start this week but it does not appear that he will eventually replace Keith Brooking as many thought, the defense is just playing too well. It would be a mistake to mess with the starting lineup at this late date; unless it is due to injury.
In the long run, Williams will continue to play in certain situations as he has since coming back. For one week though, Williams will be in the starting lineup versus the Raiders and the defense won’t miss a beat.
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