The start to Graham Glasgow's sixth season in the NFL has not been what he expected, to say the least.
The starting right guard has played in the Broncos' Week 1, 3 and 5 games, but by far the oddest part of it all was the sudden symptoms of atrial fibrillation he began having during the team's season opener in New York.
"I kind of felt weird a little bit early, but then during the second series, I kind of felt that it was not normal," Glasgow said Monday. "My heart was kind of beating out of my chest and I felt like I had to move my pads away from my chest to make room for it, sort of. I didn't really know what it was. I thought it was maybe an anxiety attack or something. I've never had one of those before either, so I didn't know what that was like. Then I thought maybe I'm having an asthma attack because it was a little difficult to breathe, but the heart was just going at like a million miles a minute and I didn't really know what it was so I just kind of kept playing."
Once the medical staff made the diagnosis, Glasgow was transported to a hospital for further evaluation. He returned to Denver within a day or two but would not return to practice until Denver's Week 3 on-field work.
While acknowledging that he understood that the event was uncommon for someone his age, Glasgow hesitated to say whether he was scared by what happened. To avoid the possibility of it happening again, Glasgow said he will stay hydrate more, get more sleep and use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
While Glasgow was able to return two weeks later for the Broncos' Week 3 game against the Jets, he soon suffered a knee injury that sideline him once again, forcing him to miss Denver's following game against the Ravens. Glasgow returned again for the Broncos' game against the Steelers, but the uneven start to the year has been tough.
"It's been pretty difficult here for me since the start of the season, but the fact that I made it through a game and I'm not going to have to sit out now, that's pretty good," Glasgow said. "It's been hard to get into a rhythm so far. I'm just looking to come back this week and have an actual two weeks of practice, and then going back and getting back into the game. I think that will just help me out."
As he and the Broncos alike look to get back on track as Denver hosts the Raiders in Week 6, Glasgow said there's room for improvement for the offensive line as a whole.
"Overall, I feel like it's been pretty good for the most part, but I think that we've had a few too many penalties in the past couple of weeks — sometimes they've been drive-killers, but sometimes they haven't been," Glasgow said. "Overall, I think that might be it. … I'll just say that. Don't get penalties, I guess. They happen. … It just comes down to if they do happen, you just need to keep the drive going and [make] sure that if you do have a negative play, don't let it kill the drive. Just keep going."
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Before Sunday's game, 9NEWS’ Mike Klis caught up with inside linebacker Justin Strnad to discuss his adjustment to becoming a starter in the wake of Josey Jewell's placement on injured reserve, his childhood and more.
"Instincts are getting better every day," Strnad told Klis. "Especially in a league like this there's so many different things that happen on the field from an offensive perspective. And this defense, coach [Vic] Fangio's defense, there's a lot of moving parts in coverage and run fit. So the more reps I get I feel like the more comfortable I'm going to get."
Strnad has made 20 tackles through five games in his first season after missing his rookie campaign with a wrist injury.