Joe Flacco, Browns

Broncos should put Joe Flacco on IR for everyone’s sake

The Denver Broncos know they are without Joe Flacco for at least six weeks. Time to put him on the sideline until 2020.

Denver is 2-6 and sitting miserably in the basement of the AFC West. With little hope of improvement the rest of the year, it’s time for general manager John Elway and the rest of the brass to face facts. Flacco coming back for the final three games of the season (Denver has a bye during that stretch) serves no purpose. It’s quite likely Flacco gives the Broncos a better chance to win than Brandon Allen or rookie Drew Lock, but that’s also the point. Losing is winning in Denver for the balance of the campaign.

Flacco is dealing with a neck injury, something which won’t be helped by being pounded in December. The Broncos can’t block, largely because left tackle and former first-round pick Garett Bolles is a human penalty. Bolles is the worst tackle in the NFL, and protecting Flacco’s blindside. Factor in that Flacco can’t move much more than a statue, and it’s a horrendous combination.

Additionally, the Broncos should be focused on giving their young quarterback a look. Lock remains on the Injured Reserve list but could come off in the next few weeks. Assuming that happens, why not let him throw the ball in real competition for a month or so and get a gauge on whether he’s the future? Drafted No. 41 overall in the second round, the Broncos aren’t locked into the University of Missouri product.

If Lock isn’t good and doesn’t offer promise, Elway can try his hand again at identifying a quarterback in the first round. Can’t be much worse than Paxton Lynch.

Looking at the NFL landscape, it’s probably Denver has a top-eight pick come April. The Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins are near locks to be in that category, while the Atlanta Falcons are strongly trending that way as well. The only other “competition” are the New York Giants and New York Jets. In short, it would take quite the run from Allen and Lock to bump Denver out of position to land either Tu Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and another late-riser who always shows up (think Jordan Love).

With Flacco hurting, it’s time to shut the veteran down and allow Lock his time once healthy. It’s the smart move now, and it is certainly the wise one for the future.

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