Monday, October 3, 2022

Former Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders landed a great opportunity

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Joining one of the best personalities on and off the field is another former Denver Bronco making the move to national television.

Former Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will join the NFL Network unchanged announced today.

Sanders will make his debut this Sunday on NFL Gameday Morning at 9 a.m. ET. In addition to appearing regularly on Sundays, the former Super Bowl 50 champion will also appear on other various programs for NFL Network, such as Super Bowl events and smaller appearances like NFL Podcasts.

Sanders made the news official on Twitter, saying: “In this next chapter, I’m bringing my talents to TV! I look forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice and contributing my insights and opinions in a fun/professional environment. I will make my debut @nflnetwork Game day morning, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. ET.”

Sanders will now join the Broncos media family of Peyton Manning, Shannon Sharpe, Terrell Davis, Mark Schlereth, Tim Tebow, Domonique Foxworth and Tom Jackson, who have been most consistently featured on national television in recent years.

Sanders signed with Denver in 2014 just months after the Broncos lost to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 Super Bowl.

In his freshman season at Denver, Sanders started in all 16 regular-season games and caught 101 passes from Manning. Sanders would round out his first 1,000-yard season with 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns.

Not only did Sanders have a fantastic season, he helped open the passing game for teammate Demaryius Thomas. Manning had 111 connections with Thomas for 1,1619 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Though Manning struggled with a new tackle in the 2015 season, Sanders still had 1,135 yards receiving and six touchdowns.

While the Broncos finished first in the playoffs, Denver hosted the Steelers and Patriots before facing the Panthers in the 2016 Super Bowl. During that playoff, Sanders became Manning’s top target as the former SMU receiver totaled 230 yards on 16 catches.

“One of my favorite times of this 2015 run was really the confetti with me and DT [Demaryius Thomas]. I was like a man, we gotta play in the confetti.” Adding to his resignation during his press conference, Sanders said, “We both just dove in the confetti after we beat the Patriots going to the Super Bowl.”

In the 2016 Super Bowl, Sanders led the team in catching eight passes for 83 yards. Because Denver had relied so much on their defense in that game, Manning only needed Sanders to play at the right time to keep the clock and chains ticking. The Broncos would defeat the Panthers 24-10 and take home their third Lombardi Trophy.

As Manning drove into the sunset, Sanders caught passes from Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum and Joe Flacco. During that span of the average quarterback game, Sanders rushed for 2,822 yards and 13 touchdowns over those three and a half seasons for Denver.

Sanders then signed a one-day contract with the Broncos on September 7, 2022 to announce his retirement.

Ever since the two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was traded from the Broncos, Denver has been trying to find a wide receiver to replace him. So far there has been hope but no treasure.

The Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton back in 2018, but he was there to replace Thomas and the lineup over Sanders. In fact, Sutton is the only 1,000-yard receiver Denver has had since his draft.

Former general manager John Elway drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. It has been suggested that one of them could be Sanders’ replacement.

Instead, all three wide receivers have struggled with injuries in recent years, with Sutton and Hamler both tearing their ACLs and Jeudy struggling with ankle injuries. As of 2020, none of the three wide receivers have touched even 900 yards of reception.

Tim Patrick has been the best and most consistent replacement for Sanders, who has rushed for over 700 yards over the past two seasons. Hoping for a big season in 2022, Patrick’s season was over before it even started. Patrick tore his cruciate ligament in the early days of training camp, forcing him to miss the entire 2022 season.

This year, Sutton has looked great as Wilson’s No. 1 receiver, but Denver needs more help. Jerry Jeudy caught a touchdown in the first game against Seattle and has 113 yards on the season but is now struggling with a rib and shoulder injury. Jeudy is a doubt against the San Francisco 49ers this week.

Hamler, on the other hand, is said to have fully recovered from his ACL injury but has no snags on the season after the Seattle game. In the last game against the Houston Texans today, Hamler was limited in practice with a knee and hip injury.

With Wilson hurling the rock for orange and blue this season, the Broncos should see a 1,000-yard receiver. Denver also needs someone to step up and say “Mr. Reliable,” as Sanders has been for almost six years.

The Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton back in 2018, but he was there to replace Thomas and the lineup over Sanders. In fact, Sutton is the only 1,000-yard receiver Denver has had since his draft.

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