The Denver Broncos will officially be without future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey in their week one showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. The veteran cornerback has been dealing with an ankle sprain and it has been taking longer than expecting to heal.
Bailey was ruled out on Wednesday, but the official injury report will be released later this week. Bailey has not been able to fully participate in practice since spraining the ankle in a preseason game on August 17th.
Without Bailey, the Broncos will be starting Chris Harris and newly-acquired former Philadelphia Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Thursday night. If they play well, it may signal a lengthier absence for Bailey. The Broncos must play it safe with the 14-year NFL veteran if they want him to heal properly.
Rodgers-Cromartie was one of the better corners in the league with the Arizona Cardinals, but after heading to Philly, he completely fell off from where he was previously. Part of it could have been the morale among the team, with the Eagles consistently underachieving during his time there. Let’s roll with that justification — hopefully that’s all it was.
The Broncos feel good about the former Eagle and his ability to come back from his down years in Philly. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio especially likes his secondary in 2013.
“I do believe we acquired a really good football player in Dominique,” Del Rio told The Denver Post. “But we also have one that’s going to be sitting out in Champ. We’ll tee it up and play. I’m not really big on making predictions. I’m big on getting our guys ready to the best of their ability, going out there and competing.”