ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Wilson's receivers stood up for their embattled quarterback this week after his offensive linemen failed to help him up after several sacks in the Broncos' blowout loss to the Rams on Sunday that triggered a coaching shakeup.
Interim head coach Jerry Rosburg, who replaced Nathaniel Hackett, on Friday called wide receiver Jerry Jeudy his hero for having Wilson's back.
Jeudy took to social media to defend Wilson having his own upstairs office at Broncos headquarters, tweeting, “He got an office because he’s committed his life to this,” adding he'd never had a teammate who motivated him more than Wilson.
After practice Thursday, Jeudy explained that he'd had enough of the piling on of Wilson, who has had the worst season of his career after being traded from Seattle for four premium draft picks and three players last spring.
"I’m just tired of reading things about my boy and making it seem like, ‘Oh, he’s not a good teammate,'” Jeudy explained.
Asked about Jeudy's late-season surge and his status as questionable for Sunday at Kansas City because of a sore right ankle, Rosburg took the opportunity to laud him for having his teammate's back.
“Jerry Jeudy has been so impressive to me in all the plays he’s made. I thought that he made a great play yesterday, too, off the field," Rosburg said.
Rosburg said there's a lot of unfair characterizations of Wilson, who has his own office and parking space at team headquarters along with an entourage of support staff that includes his personal chefs and QB coach.
“We’ve all been criticized before but at some point in time, it’s really important that those that know you best stand up for you, and sometimes that’s a difficult thing to do because you get yourself messy in the process,” Rosburg said. "But he saw his teammate and friend and comrade aid low and he dug in and stood up with great courage and conviction about the truth, I would say.
“So yeah, he’s my hero today.”
Other teammates, including receiver KJ Hamler and injured left tackle Garett Bolles defended Wilson on social media for the heavy criticism he's received in a season that features just 12 touchdown throws in 13 games and 49 sacks.
Hamler tweeted that Wilson “goes above and beyond to do whatever it takes to win for the team. Y’all not about to bash him and act like he still ain’t that same Russ who won a Super Bowl and was a 9 time pro bowler. I stand behind my QB.”
So does Bolles, who's on IR with a broken leg.
“This has been an incredible difficult season personally and even worse watching my brother Russ get beaten down with hurtful attacks and lies,” Bolles tweeted. "Russ pours his heart and soul into this game. More importantly, he pours his heart and soul into our TEAM. He is one of the greatest competitors and teammates I've been around.
“We have his back and know he wants nothing more than to WIN. That is our quarterback and brother. We'll learn from this adversity and be better for it together.”
All of this defense of Wilson comes after backup quarterback Brett Rypien got shoved in the chest by left guard Dalton Risner, the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, when he approached the offensive linemen on the sideline Sunday following back-to-back sacks of Wilson and implored them to help the quarterback to his feet instead of just staring at him as he peeled himself off the ground.
Asked Friday if he felt the O-linemen should give their quarterback a hand when he's been tackled, Rosburg said, “That's a really good question. But here's what I'm going to say. I could give a really long answer but I'm just going to say: Watch Sunday's game.”
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