Broncos drop to 3-4 following 17-14 loss to Browns


The Cleveland Browns were without star running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on Thursday evening, but that didn’t stop them from running over the Denver Broncos’ defense in a 17-14 win.

D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland’s third-string running back, benefited from going up against a Denver defense that was missing both of their starting inside linebackers due to injuries. Johnson rushed 22 times for 146 yards and one touchdown in the victory.

Broncos inside linebackers Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson are both on injured reserve with pec injuries, and fill-in starters Josey Jewell and Micah Kiser struggled to slow down the Browns’ rushing attack on Thursday.

Kiser then suffered a groin injury and was ruled out and was replaced by undrafted rookie Curtis Robinson.

Denver was also without starting outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (ankle) going into the game and fellow edge defender Von Miller suffered an ankle injury himself on Thursday evening and was ruled out. Malik Reed and seventh-round rookie Jonathon Cooper finished the game at outside linebacker.

Missing all four of their starting linebackers, the Broncos’ defense struggled against a Browns offense that was missing starting quarterback Baker Mayfield (shoulder) in addition to their top two running backs. Case Keenum started in the place of Mayfield and went 21-of-33 passing for 199 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Meanwhile, Denver’s quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, had another underwhelming performance. Bridgewater threw his fifth interception of the season and he now has a turnover in three straight games.

Bridgewater threw a pair of short touchdown passes to make the game close in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback.

After losing four straight contests, Broncos coach Vic Fangio will likely be on the hot season, and fans are calling for change at quarterback, too.

Denver has 10 days before its next game, a home contest against the Washington Football Team in Week 8. Broncos Wire will be tracking any potential coach, quarterback and injury news in the coming days.

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