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Mile High Morning: NFL sack leader Myles Garrett to bring unique challenge for Broncos' offense


The Lead

So far, the Broncos have already faced some of the league's best pass rushers.

They've had to reckon with T.J. Watt and Maxx Crosby in just the past two weeks, to varying success. Watt was held without a sack for the only time this year, while Crosby wreaked havoc with three sacks and quarterback hits.

But on Thursday, the Broncos will have to deal with a pass rusher who certainly looks like he could be the league's best: Myles Garrett.

Coming off a Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro season, the former first-overall pick has recorded eight sacks in six games, which leads the NFL. In Week 3, Garrett scorched the Bears for 4.5 sacks alone.

"He's really good," Head Coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday. "He's one of the top outside rushers in the league, and one of the top pass rushers, period, at any position. He's a handful, and he'll be hard to handle."

After getting hit 17 times by Raiders defenders, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater — assuming he's healthy enough to play Thursday as he deals with a foot injury — will certainly be aware of where Garrett is at any given time.

"He's a freak athlete," Bridgewater said. "He's a great football player, and he's a great human being as well. When you combine those things, you can tell that he has a ton of passion when he plays the game. You can tell that he has a great feel for the guy he's going against each week also. You can tell he's prepared and that he studies them because when you watch him, he's winning so many battles. He's a guy that you've got to know where he is when you're out there as a quarterback and when you're game-planning."

To help out his offensive linemen, Bridgewater also said he's working on throwing faster to avoid sitting in the pocket as defenders close in.

"[I need to] just get the ball out faster and continue to play in rhythm," Bridgewater said. "When we're doing those things well, we're executing at a high level. For me, as I'm dropping, I just [need to] continue to stay in rhythm, trust that our guys will win those one-on-one battles up front and trust that our receivers will win those one-on-one battles when they're running routes."

Below the Fold

As the Thursday night game approaches, injuries continue to stack up for both sides. Head Coach Vic Fangio said Monday that Alexander Johnson would join fellow starting inside linebacker Josey Jewell on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

And for the Browns, the hurt keeps on coming. Cleveland announced Wednesday morning that Case Keenum will start at quarterback in Baker Mayfield's stead. They also placed running back Kareem Hunt on injured reserve on Tuesday, and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said later in the day that he would rule starting running back Nick Chubb out for the game as well. In their place, the Browns will likely rely heavily on D'Ernest Johnson.

"You guys saw D'Ernest in there last season at times, and he was very dependable and he was very accountable," Stefanski told Cleveland media. "Broke some long runs for us. Can really catch the ball. I have a ton of faith in D'Ernest, just like all of these guys who may be called upon."

First-round pick linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was also placed on IR on Tuesday. Starting tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin missed the Browns' Week 6 game and were given the practice designation estimates of "did not practice" earlier this week. Since each team did not practice on Monday or Tuesday, participation reports are estimations based on what their participation may have been in a practice setting.

The Unclassifieds

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