Aug 20, 2019 12:59 PM

Injury scares haunt Broncos preseason loss to 49ers

Posted Aug 20, 2019 12:59 PM

DENVER (AP) — Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo each made a triumphant return to action Monday night when the San Francisco 49ers' backups engineered a 24-15 preseason win over the Denver Broncos.

Sanders' comeback overshadowed Garoppolo's return.

After thoughts of his double-ankle surgery nearly brought him to tears in the tunnel before the game, Sanders caught a 5-yard pass from Joe Flacco on the Broncos' first offensive play and added a 19-yard run on a reverse in his first game since tearing his left Achilles tendon in practice last December.

He also hauled in a 45-yard reception that was erased by left tackle Garett Bolles' holding penalty, but what he lamented most was not scoring on the reverse.

"The old 'E' would have scored," Sanders said.

Bolles' penalty didn't detract from Sanders' big night.

"Unfortunately, we got the holding call," Sanders said. "But it felt good to be back on the football field, making plays and exciting the crowd. This is my adrenaline rush."

Garoppolo was glad to get back on the field, too, even though he went just 1 for 6 for zero yards and an interception in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last September.

"It's something I haven't done in a year obviously, so I've got to knock the rust off," Garoppolo said. "Thankfully we have a short week this week so we can bounce back quickly. First step of getting back into it."

Garoppolo's first pass was knocked down by defensive lineman Shelby Harris and his second one was intercepted by cornerback Isaac Yiadom when he was pressured by Bradley Chubb. His third pass was tipped and cornerback De'Vante Bausby broke up his fourth attempt.

Chris Harris Jr. pressured Garoppolo into an incompletion from his end zone before Garoppolo finally completed a screen pass to running back Matt Breida, who was corralled by Shelby Harris at the San Francisco 6 for no gain.

"It's a big hurdle to get out there for the first time but we haven't seen any issues with the knee," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I forget about it except he's wearing a brace."

The knee wasn't on Garoppolo's mind, either.

"I wasn't thinking about it so I was happy about that," Garoppolo said. "It didn't bother me too much."

Broncos safety Justin Simmons said that while he was pleased with how Denver stifled Garoppolo, the quarterback's stat line was by no means a barometer of where he is in his comeback.

"It helps because we practiced against him twice. I mean, he still has it," Simmons said. "You watched him in practice and he made a lot of nice throws, he made a lot of nice reads and he helped us big-time in our development throughout the week."

Based on their work together over three days, Simmons said football fans should expect big things from the Niners' offense and Denver's defense this season.


Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock suffered a jammed right thumb Monday night in a preseason game against San Francisco.

The second-round pick said his X-rays were negative as he wore a protective brace following Denver's 24-15 loss to the 49ers. There was no immediate timetable for his return.

"I'm definitely going to be careful," Lock said. "At the same time, the competitive side of me wants to get out there and keep proving myself to these coaches and to my teammates. ... I feel like we'll make a good decision."

Lock's injury happened early in the third quarter, when he was tripped up by 49ers strong safety Marcell Harris on a second-down play. He landed on his thumb as he attempted to pitch the ball to a receiver.

On third down, Lock tried to throw a deep pass but experienced a little bit of discomfort. He went to the bench and the thumb began to stiffen up, leading to him being replaced by Kevin Hogan on Denver's next possession.

Lock finished 7 of 12 for 40 yards before leaving. He also scrambled twice for 11 yards.

Lock is in contention for the backup spot to Joe Flacco.

Broncos first-rounder Noah Fant injured his right foot when DB Tarvarius Moore fell on him in the second quarter. DL Damontre Moore (thumb) and FS Adrian Colbert (hamstring) were among the 49ers hurt. Fangio said Fant's injury appeared to be minor.

Continue Reading Panhandle Post
Aug 20, 2019 12:59 PM
College football's "top-10 can't miss games" for the upcoming season (7-5)

By: Dave Collins

Eagle Radio Sports Director

Part II

Leading up to kickoff this weekend of the college football season I thought it'd be fun to scope out the national Division I schedule and find the games that we just can't miss watching this fall! Rivalries, non-traditional match-ups of great powers, games with huge implications.....this top-10 has it all and today is games 7, 6 and 5 leading up to my #1 can't miss game of the year later this week. Get primed for kickoff Saturday, it's finally going to be here!

#7 – Miami vs Florida


The season opener on Saturday night, August 24 pits two huge rivals from the most talent-rich state in the country. Both teams have rosters and expectations to compete for their respective division titles, putting them in place for an ACC and SEC championship, which would lead to a potential New Year’s Six bowl.

Throw Florida State in the mix and anytime a combination of those three teams meets it’s also a battle of players who faced each other in high school or were on the same team, adding fuel to the rivalry. Any game featuring a combo of the trio has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid and they’ve produced some epic games, comebacks and finishes.

With a Saturday night kickoff the fans will be juiced. The only downside is the game isn’t in The Swamp. Miami doesn’t have an on-campus stadium and this one will be played in Orlando at Camping World Stadium. It'll still be solid, and heck, it's the season opener!

The Pick: Gators 21, Canes 20

#6 – LSU at Alabama


Two National Title contenders will meet November 9 in Tuscaloosa. It’s become an annual top-15 match-up, and seven times in the past five seasons either Bama, LSU or both have been in the top-4. Come opening weekend the Tide are #2 and the Tigers are #6 in the AP poll.

The games haven’t lived up to greatness every year however, but this one feels different. Bama is still rolling, but not as fast with the rise of Clemson exposing cracks in the Tide armor. LSU is expecting a huge season and might finally have the offense to score more than 16 points, the most the Tide’s defense has allowed the Tigers since 2014, including two shutouts.

Bama has the easier road to staying unbeaten by the time this one comes in November, whereas LSU has to get by a game at Texas and three tricky SEC games right before this showdown.

The Pick: Tide 23, Tigers 21

#5 – Army at Michigan



Whoa? Who saw this one coming in the top-10 most anticipated games of the season? 

The huge upset, everyone loves to see it....until it happens to your team. This one here would go down in the minds of college football traditionalists as a huge upset by name, but in reality it shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Army is a throwback to the old school days of running the football as a priority, and almost exclusively. In the past seven seasons the Knights have averaged less than 100 yards a game in the air, and just 28 yards a game two seasons ago. They’ll grind out over 300 consistently though, wear you down and keep the ball out of your hands with a punishing rushing attack.

Michigan is a trendy College Football Playoff pick. Both teams have a lot of strength defensively, but Michigan’s is in the defensive backfield, which won’t be a huge factor seeing as Army's strength is on the ground.

Appalachian State where you at? Colorado’s Miracle in Michigan. Big stunners in the Big House have happened before. Will it happen again? 

Army lost in overtime at #5 Oklahoma last year so they're spotlight-experienced for another big showdown.

The Pick: Michigan 20, Army 19 - OT Knights go for two and the win but come up short on the one yard line in OT.