The Broncos will play Sunday at Tennessee without two of their top special team players. Fullback Spencer Larsen (ankle) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) have both been ruled out with injuries.
The team will miss Larsen on offense, sure, since is the only true fullback on the roster (tight end Dan Gronkowski is learning the position and will line up in the backfield at times), but the team will most miss Larsen and Woodyard on the coverage and return units. Woodyard is also the team’s specials teams captain.
And those units right now could use all the help they can get. The Broncos are allowing an average of 27.7 yards per kickoff return and 16.0 yards per punt return, both ranking near the bottom of the league. The Broncos’ kickoff return group is ranked No. 29 at 18.3 yards per return.
With a roster loaded with defensive backs and wide receivers, the Broncos special teams units were on the smaller side to begin with. Losing two of the bigger, more physical players, surely can’t help.