Denver Broncos starting CB Tracy Porter is eying a return to the playing field after missing nine weeks of action because of on illness that started back in the summer. Should the Broncos stick with the old rule that a player shouldn’t lose his starting role because of an injury/illness? They say rules are made to be broken and this is a time that the rule should indeed be broken.
The Denver defense has been very solid, maybe as solid as QB Peyton Manning and his offense. They rank among the league’s best in almost all defensive categories: fifth in the league for only allowing 19.6 points a game, fourth for allowing only 307 yards per game, eighth for allowing 216 passing yards per contest and second in run defense by only allowing 91 yards per game.
To whom do they owe the success? The whole unit has played exceptionally well together and it’s definitely a team effort. Broncos LB Von Miller has been the leader and sets the tone from week to week by getting after the QB and making offenses alter their game plans solely because he’s on the opposite side of the ball. The defensive line has played well together as a unit with no particular standouts, but in the secondary you have to mention the play of CBs Chris Harris and Tony Carter.
Yes, Champ Bailey is the leader of the secondary and not many QBs will attempt to throw his way very often, which helps tremendously, but if they aren’t throwing his way then there is extreme pressure on the other side of the field. Harris has started in the place of Porter on that side of the field and has consistently played very well while recording 51 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions (including a 98-yard touchdown return) and 11 passes defended. The main thing is that he’s not getting beat deep or letting opposing QBs pick on him with quick routes. He’s holding his own and deserves to keep his starting spot until he loses it because of weak play.
Carter has also played well in the nickel packages and should get a chance to continue receiving quality playing time.
Porter started the season out very strong and then played very poor for a few games right before his illness got worse. He had a seizure in the summer, all the symptoms returned early this season and team doctor’s have been working for weeks to get the correct medication for Porter. It looks like he could return soon, but he should return to the sideline until needed.
If Porter had not had a couple of poor outings right before his absence then I would say even with Harris and Carter’s emergence I would start him at least in the nickel packages, but given all the circumstances I think the Broncos would be better suited for a Super Bowl run if Porter’s return doesn’t alter their defense much and they put Porter in an as-needed role.
I’m sure the Broncos are glad that he is close to a return as he is a talented player, but you don’t fix what is not broken while competing for a Super Bowl.
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