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Russell Wilson leaves Broncos loss to Chiefs after frightening blow to his head

Russell Wilson left Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after his head slammed to the turf at the end of a run.

The Denver Broncos quarterback scrambled on a third-and-11 play early in the fourth quarter and broke toward the end zone after picking up a first down. He was tackled at the 2-yard line, and his head bounced off the ground at the end of the play. He remained motionless for a moment and was woozy as athletic trainers helped him to his feet.

Brett Rypien replaced him as Wilson walked on his own to the sideline medical tent. The Broncos scored a touchdown on the possession to cut the deficit to 34-28. Wilson was later seen on the sideline with a bump on the right side of his head.

Russell Wilson. Screenshot/CBS

Russell Wilson. Screenshot/CBS

The Broncos ruled out Wilson with a concussion before the conclusion of the game.

Wilson was in the midst of one his best outings of a hugely disappointing season as the Broncos posted their highest scoring output of 2022. It wasn’t enough as the Chiefs held on for a 34-28 win.

The Broncos fell into a 27-0 hole midway through the second quarter of what looked like a blowout loss at home to their division rivals. They stopped the bleeding with a touchdown pass from Wilson to Jerry Jeudy with 1:35 remaining in the half. A Patrick Mahomes interception to Patrick Surtain II gave the Broncos the ball back with 1:06 remaining. They responded with a seven-play, 60-yard drive capped by another Wilson touchdown pass to Jeudy to enter halftime trailing 27-14.

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) rushes for a 19-yard gain and first down in the second quarter during a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 11, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Russell Wilson was having one his best games of the season before sustaining a late head injury. (Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wilson then found Marlon Mack for a 66-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first possession of the second half, and the Broncos cut their deficit to 27-21 thanks to three touchdowns in 3:21 of game play. When Rypien found Jeudy for his third touchdown catch after Wilson’s injury, the Broncos had surpassed their previous season high of 23 points scored in a Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Wilson finished the day completing 23 of 36 passes for 247 yards with a season-high three touchdowns and one interception that Willie Gay Jr. returned for a touchdown. He added 57 yards on the ground in what amounted to a vintage performance.

Alas, it wasn’t enough as Kansas City’s early cushion and a late touchdown pass from Mahomes to JuJu Smith-Schuster were too much to overcome. Mahomes finished the day completing 28 of 42 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. His three interceptions against a ball-hawking Broncos defense added up to a season high and allowed Denver to stay close.

The running back tandem of Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon fueled the Chiefs’ offense for much of the day. McKinnon tallied 112 yards and two touchdowns in the air while adding 22 yards on the ground. Pacheco paced the run game with 70 yards on 13 carries, including a powerful 10-yard run through the Broncos’ defense to ice the game with a first down in the final minute.

The Chiefs improved to 10-3 to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills with the best record in the AFC. The Broncos, already eliminated from the postseason, fell to 3-10. Wilson’s status wasn’t immediately clear after the game.



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