Russell Wilson wasn’t the only Broncos quarterback to have a rough Christmas.
Backup Brett Rypien was involved in a strange sideline spat with Denver’s offensive line as the team spiraled towards an embarrassing 51-14 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.
Wilson was sacked on consecutive plays to end a drive with the team trailing 34-6 in the third quarter. Rypien then went over to say something to the offensive line when guard Dalton Risner shoved him. CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson was the first to report on the incident.
“Tensions are high, Jim (Nantz), on these Broncos’ sideline,” Wolfson said. “Backup quarterback Brett Rypien came over after that sack, went to the offensive line. Had words for them and Dalton Risner, defending Russell Wilson. Risner, right in the middle of it, actually pushed Rypien.
“And then Cam Sutton just trying to calm everyone down going up and down the sidelines. But certainly, frustration down here on the Broncos’ sideline.”
Rypien would go on to replace Wilson, who authored the latest chapter on his brutal first season with the Broncos. Wilson, who ended up playing peacemaker to ease tensions, finished the game completing 15-of-27 passes for 214 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Broncos’ trade with the Seahawks this offseason, which sent a hefty package of picks and players to Seattle, looks like an unmitigated disaster, only worsened by the five-year, $240 million deal they signed the 34-year-old to before the season.
“A lot needs to happen,” Wilson said after the game, according to KUSA. “No. 1, I have to play to the standards that I know how to play to. And I’ve been playing to my whole career. I’ll never let a moment like tonight define me. We’re at a low moment right now. I don’t fear low moments because I know every time I’ve always come out the other side. All I know how to do is keep fighting, keep battling.
“The reality is, it’s been a storm. It’s been a storm all year. It’s not what we hoped for, not what we dreamed for. But it doesn’t mean it’s going to end that way for years to come. We got to change it and like I said it starts with me.”
The 4-11 Broncos finish the season with AFC West matchups against the Chiefs and Chargers. They then will have a host of decisions to make about their future, starting with first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett. The former Packers offensive coordinator has taken almost as much heat as Wilson for this ugly season and could be one and one in Denver.