Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak may have benched quarterback Peyton Manning for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears willy-nilly, but he didn't have the same say on if linebacker DeMarcus Ware played, meaning they'll be without stars on both offense and defense.
According to Pro Football Talk, Kubiak announced during a press conference today that Ware will not be playing against Bears due to a back injury. The team isn't even sure if the pass rusher and Manning will travel with them to Chicago after the recent turn of events.
The linebacker missed the Broncos' week six game against the Cleveland Browns, and he aggravated it further in week nine against the Indianapolis Colts. He has only had 6.5 sacks over seven games so far this season.
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The eight-time Pro Bowler's injury is beginning to take a hit on the team, as the Broncos have now lost two games in a row thanks to overall poor defensive performances.
I know that might be a bit harsh to say considering how badly Manning played during those two games, but ultimately, if the defense can't get off the field quickly, the offense doesn't have a chance either way. It's a two-way street; the offense must stay on the field to give the defense a chance to win the game, and the defense must stay off the field to give the offense a chance to win the game.
Granted, Ware isn't the same player that was tearing it up for the Dallas Cowboys four or so years ago, but he is still an impact player that provides a great amount of experience and talent to the field. He is a true leader, and his presence is clearly being missed.
If someone doesn't step up for the Broncos soon, they will continue to go on this losing streak, and the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders could find themselves in more secure playoff contention in the AFC West.