ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With Russell Wilson in concussion protocol after exiting Sunday's game in the fourth quarter, the Broncos are prioritizing Wilson's health, Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Monday.
Wilson, who suffered the head injury at the end of a 14-yard scramble during the game against Kansas City, will have to progress through assessments by independent doctors before being cleared to return to practice or game action.
"We're going to do everything the way that the medical doctors say, the independent doctors," Hackett said. "… His safety is the No. 1 biggest priority for us. So we want to be sure we do what's right for him."
Hackett said he saw Wilson at UCHealth Training Center on Monday and that while Wilson "felt great," they will still ensure that he's healthy before Wilson returns to the field, whenever that may be.
"Right now, we're just concerned for his safety," Hackett said. "We want to make sure that he's healthy. So we'll take that day by day and continually talk to our medical team and to Russell."
In Wilson's stead on Sunday, the Broncos turned to fourth-year backup quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien finished the drive with a fourth-down touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy, but he later threw an interception on the Broncos' final drive. In six career games, Rypien has thrown for 536 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions.
The status of starting wide receiver Courtland Sutton may also be up in the air as the Broncos continue to be cautious with a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 13 vs. Baltimore.
"We're going to take that day by day when it comes to his status," Hackett said. "I want to talk with the medical team. … With it being a hamstring, those things are different for everybody, so we want to be sure that we're smart with him."
Fellow wide receiver Kendall Hinton is also dealing with a hamstring injury after Sunday's game, but Hackett said the team is still working through its evaluation of the injury's severity.
Hackett also said that running back Mike Boone's ankle injury may rule him out for the final four games of the season, though he's still being assessed by the team's medical staff.
"It doesn't look good for Mike right now," Hackett said. "… We're still evaluating it and getting all the information before we move forward, but we're going to have to have another running back up."
Reinforcements from injured reserve could come before the end of the season, but Hackett said that the team must still exercise caution with outside linebacker Randy Gregory and center Lloyd Cushenberry III.
"Again, we're going day by day on that one," Hackett said. "I would love to see Randy out there. We want to see him get after the passer. Very excited about him and all the stuff that he was doing before he got injured. We want to be smart with it, but really would like to see him out there rushing the passer."
Gregory has missed nine games since suffering a knee injury in a Week 4 game vs. the Raiders, and Cushenberry has been out with a groin injury since the middle of Denver's Week 8 game vs. the Jaguars.