The Broncos may have avoided a serious loss on defense with the news that Brandon Marshall has been cleared to return after undergoing testing for a concussion. However, he couldn’t return before the Panthers were able to score a touchdown while the linebacker was off the field.
Marshall was injured in a collision with Panthers running back Fozzy Whittaker while making the stop on a 4-yard reception. The fifth-year linebacker was slow to get up and appeared dazed after getting hit hard by Whittaker’s shoulder during the wrap-up attempt, but James Palmer for the NFL Network reported no concussion was sustained.
While Marshall was out, the Panthers were able to run 11 more plays to cap off an 18-play touchdown drive, with quarterback Cam Newton scoring from 2 yards out. During the series, Denver’s defense looked all out of sorts, taking a 12-men penalty to set up Newton’s TD and spending a timeout to avoid another.
Marshall would be a huge loss in the middle of the Broncos defense, particularly after Danny Trevathan left the team in free agency during the offseason. Despite missing a handful of plays, Marshall was leading Denver with a team-high 4 tackles.
The good news is Marshall is OK, and the Broncos should have him as they attempt to knock off the Panthers in a Super Bowl rematch. They just hope the damage wasn’t already done, as Denver trails 14-7 after the Newton score.