The Denver Broncos lost a key player on both sides of the ball in Sunday’s 16-9 victory over the Houston Texans, during which wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and cornerback Patrick Surtain II each left with injuries in the first half.
Jeudy hurt his ribs and shoulder in the first quarter after falling hard to the turf while attempting to make a catch and was ruled out of the game shortly afterward. Surtain departed early in the second quarter with an injury to his left shoulder.
Both players are expected to undergo MRIs on Monday to further evaluate their injuries.
Jeudy’s exit further depleted a wide receiver corps already without KJ Hamler, who was held out of the contest as he works his way back from offseason knee and hip surgeries. Tim Patrick, who caught 53 passes for 734 yards and a team-high five touchdowns in 2021, suffered a season-ending ACL tear during training camp.
Denver did get 122 yards on seven catches from top receiver Courtland Sutton against the Texans, though Russell Wilson and the offense struggled for much of the day in the quarterback’s first home start as a Bronco.
Wilson completed just 14 of 31 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and the Broncos were hurt by penalties for a second straight week after being flagged 13 times for 100 yards.
Denver committed 12 penalties totalling 106 yards in Monday’s season-opening loss to the Seahawks, which marked Wilson’s return to Seattle for the first time since being traded to the Broncos in March.
"We’ve just got to execute at a higher level," Broncos first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett remarked after Sunday’s win. "We’re just going to have to evaluate everything. Whether it’s getting the personnel out there, or lack thereof, and making sure the plays are coming in nice and clean. And just getting into the huddle and out of the huddle.
"That’s inexcusable," Hackett said of his team’s mistakes. "That’s on us, that’s us hurting ourselves."
Jeudy is coming off an injury-plagued 2021 campaign in which he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener and missed the Broncos’ next six games. The 2020 first-round pick got this season off to a strong start by recording four catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in the Seattle loss.
Surtain was the ninth overall pick of the 2021 draft, and is coming off a strong rookie season where he intercepted four passes and played in 16 games.