Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey has been hurt for the majority of the 2013 NFL season. Bailey first injured his left foot in the preseason and the injury has plagued him for the entirety of the year, with the 12-time Pro Bowler playing in just one full game for the Broncos.
In week 13, Bailey was healthy and subsequently took the field for the Broncos against the Kansas City Chiefs, but removed himself from the game after playing just 30 snaps. According to both Bailey himself and the team, he wasn’t ready to compete at a high level like the Broncos need him to.
Heading into week 16 and the final two weeks of the regular season, though, Bailey will be back on the field and all signs point to him being ready to go. According to a report from ESPN, Bailey says that he now feels like he has the confidence in his foot and himself to go out and get the job done on the defensive side of the ball for Denver.
For the Broncos, tightening up their defense against the pass is going to be key and adding a ready and effective Bailey will give them a boost. Denver ranks just 28th in the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game this season, which is less than ideal. Part of that is due to teams throwing to try and catch up to the Broncos’ elite offense, but part of that is because the Broncos’ pass defense hasn’t been great.
What’s even better for Bailey and the Broncos is that the last two weeks of the regular season will allow Bailey to get even more comfortable and shake off any rust that may have accumulated while he’s been sidelined. Facing the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders in their final two games certainly presents that luxury.
The Broncos have obviously been successful with Bailey out of the lineup, but having him sure up their pass defense even a little bit has to do nothing but improve their chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year.