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Russell Wilson ready to 'rock and roll,' return to lineup vs. Jaguars

Broncos will debut white jersey on blue pants in Sunday's game
Britain Broncos Football
Posted at 3:35 PM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 17:35:27-04

LONDON — The heat simmers under coach Nathaniel Hackett's seat, Bradley Chubb and Jerry Jeudy continue drawing trade interest and the Broncos began practice Wednesday at the 450-year-old Harrow School, whose graduates include Winston Churchill, singer James Blunt and Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch

But about that workout.

Russell "High Knees" Wilson described his routine on the roughly nine-hour flight to London that widened eyes more than the veteran saying he's ready to "rock and roll" and return to the lineup on Sunday.

"I don’t really get jet lag too often. I don’t really — I’ve traveled enough to get my system down. For me, I was on the plane for two hours — for the first two hours. The first two hours, I was watching film, watching all of the cutups and everything else. For the next four hours, I was doing treatment on the plane. I was walking up and down the aisles. Everybody else was knocked out," Wilson said.

"I was doing high knees, working on my legs and everything else, and making sure that I’m ready to rock. That was good. Then the last two hours, I fell asleep for one hour and then I watched film the rest."

While Wilson went TMI — too much information — for many on Twitter, the reality is the Broncos need him back and playing well. Denver lumps clumsily into this game with a four-game losing streak that has sabotaged hopes of contending. The 2-5 record is hard to digest, and the decaffeinated offense deserves the blame. The Broncos rank last in points per game (14.3), red zone touchdown percentage (23.5) and touchdowns (eight) and first in penalties (58).

It has placed Hackett squarely under the microscope. Though only seven games into his tenure, his grip on the position no longer seems secure.

"No. I always put pressure on myself from the standpoint of that’s just me personally. We want to win every game. When you lose games, you’re very upset about it," Hackett said. "We are who we are, and we have to dig ourselves out of this. As a team, we have to come together. We always talk about adversity because it’s part of this game. The teams as you move forward — the ones that are tested with adversity — usually have the best chance to move forward.”

For the Broncos to rebound, it starts with Wilson. He's on pace for a career-low 14 touchdowns and 58.6 completion percentage. The nine-time Pro Bowler acknowledged as much when I asked him about the criticism of Hackett.

"Listen, you’re aware just because of how the world works, but I think more than anything else, I’ve been trying to just stay focused on our team and focused on getting better as a group and not worrying about the outside noise. This thing is— we control the outside by how we play. That’s for everybody. That’s starting with me and starting with the whole team and our coaches. We’re all in it together and we know that," Wilson said.

"We’re excited for that because we feel like that is something that we can control. It hasn’t been exactly what we wanted it to be, but storms don’t always last. This one is not going to last because we’re going to work our tails off to work through it and we’re going to try to be the best we can possibly be. [Head] Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett is a tremendous coach. He works his butt off and the same with the rest of the coaching staff. For us players, we’re working our butts off. It just hasn’t come to fruition yet how we wanted it to as a collective group. Like I said, it starts one day at a time."

Wilson's confidence can be traced to his history. While he has lost three straight games twice in his career — last year and the current skid — he has never dropped four. The Broncos enter the game as an underdog to the Jaguars, but not because of their defense. Denver ranks third in points allowed (16.4), second in net passing yards per game (173.1) and third in sacks (22). That performance is one of many reasons star safety Justin Simmons hopes Chubb is not dealt.

"Chubb has been an outstanding player here. I honestly don't pay attention to any of that type of stuff. Obviously, I've heard. You hear those types of things, but I love playing with Chubb. He has been an amazing player. I think he's a great player for us. He's, in my opinion, having his best year with us," Simmons said. "I'd love for him to be my teammate for forever. It makes my job so much easier on the back end. The way he's disruptive, not only in the passing game but the run game too."

Broncos debut new uniform combo
All the chatter on Twitter as the media bus chugged to practice was about the Broncos' uniform combination. They are going with white tops and blue trousers for the first time. The echo chamber of social media was not crazy about it. But the players wanted it, Broncos president Damani Leech explained.

"So we met with our captains just a few weeks ago and, for me, I am about getting input from everyone. I meet with our staff and there was an opportunity to meet with our captains and just learn about what we can do to make things better from their perspective. Then we got on the topic of uniforms, which If you don’t know —is a multi-year process that actually changed from a league standpoint, but we had flexibility in our tops and our bottoms and that was one thing that they pointed out that they had not been able to do and wanted the opportunity to do it," Leech explained.

"We said, ‘Look we are going to London, they drive on the opposite side of the road, we can flip our pants and see how it goes.”

Running back Melvin Gordon called the combination, "Fire."