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Broncos notes: Von doesn't blame Brissett's breakaway handwarmer for missed sack

Scangarello addresses Flacco's postgame comments; Second opinion confirms Flacco likely headed for season-ending IR.
Credit: AP
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) runs out of a tackle by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It wasn’t Jacoby Brissett that shook off Von Miller, it was Brissett’s handwarmer.

Well, maybe Brissett himself had something to do with the Great Escape from Miller and throw to T.Y. Hilton that beat Chris Harris Jr.in what was  the pivotal play of the game Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But Miller had Brissett grabbed at his handwarmer, which was fastened around the quarterback’s belt. And when Miller ripped the hardwarmer away, the Broncos’ pass rusher fell away at the wrong moment.

Brissett, from his end zone, also scrambled past Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe, and kept rolling right. Keeping his eyes downfield, Brissett threw a perfect 35-yard completion to Hilton, who tiptoed the sidelines to move the Indianapolis Colts into field goal position.

Which they eventually reached for Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning, 51-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining.

“It was two sacks that I could have had on him and the handwarmer came off, but I’m not blaming it on the handwarmer,’’ Miller said. “I have to do a better job of … I should have slowed down and really tempo’d it. I just ran in there. I have to give him more respect.

“He’s a good quarterback, have to give him a little bit more respect than I did.”

If he had  to do it over again, Miller would have watched more tape of Brissett from the Broncos’ 25-13 win at Indy in a late 2017 game.

“I should have remembered how tough he was to bring down because when we played them in (2017) I missed him a couple of times in that game, too,’’ Miller said. “I should have known. That’s me. I don’t really miss sacks like that. I just have to … I can tell you that it won’t happen too many more times. It’s just one that I have to leave on the back burner and keep balling.”

Scangarello downplays Flacco comments

When Broncos’ quarterback Joe Flacco said after his team’s 15-13 loss at Indy that the offense needs to be more aggressive and take more shots, those critical words appeared to be directed at offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who calls the plays.

Scangarello didn’t have a chance to address Flacco’s concerns until coordinator press conference day Thursday.

“You’d have to ask what Joe meant behind that comment, but when I see Joe’s comments, I just saw a quarterback that had lost a game and he was very frustrated with how it went,’’ Scangarello said. “We’ve lost a couple of heartbreakers. He’s a competitor and that stuff bothers him, whatever it might be, and I think in that moment something he said came out, but it’s nothing more than that. He’s in the building, he’s great and everything is good.”

Flacco update

Flacco isn’t great medically. He receive a second medical opinion which confirmed the original diagnosis by Broncos’ doctors: He has a disc injury in his neck that will likely send him to the season-ending injured reserve, a source told 9News.

The source said Flacco needs six weeks to recover, although for now it appears he won’t need surgery.

If the Broncos were 6-2 and not 2-6, Flacco would likely stay on the active 53-man roster. But with the Broncos at 2-6 and needing to get a jump on next year, and Flacco not able to return until the final three games of the season, the IR is the most sensible move.

The Broncos intend to play second-round rookie Drew Lock for at least the final two games – against the Lions and Raiders with both contests in Denver. Lock figures to be activated on the 53-man roster, if not necessarily play, by either the Broncos’ 12th game against the Los Angeles Chargers at home, or 13th game at Houston.

Sophomore jinx

The Broncos’ opponent Sunday is the Cleveland Browns whose quarterback Baker Mayfield is having a terrible second season, throwing twice as many interceptions (12) as touchdown passes (6) and posting a 67.8 passer rating that ranks 32nd in the league.

“I don’t know what it is, I really don’t,’’ Miller said. “It’s the same offense. He had so much success last year. He’s got better weapons this year with Odell (Beckham Jr.), Jarvis (Landry) and Ricky Seals-Jones, another Aggie as well. I don’t know what it is. I really don’t. I don’t want to find out. I really don’t want to find out.’’

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