Broncos safety Brian Dawkins re-injured his neck on Sunday against the Bills, and there are concerns in Denver that he may have played his last game in the NFL.
Dawkins himself told people after the game not to be worried, but Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that others in Denver are worried that he won’t ever be able to get back on the field. His neck has become a recurring problem, causing him to miss all or parts of four different games this year.
In the short term, losing Dawkins would really hurt the Broncos’ defense as they attempt to beat the Chiefs next week and win the AFC West. The safety position is especially concerning because the Broncos’ other starting safety, Quinton Carter, suffered a back injury against the Bills, although he is expected to be back on the field against the Chiefs.
But the bigger concern is Dawkins’ long-term health. The 38-year-old Dawkins has been through so many collisions in his 16-year NFL career that it’s not surprising that he’s now experiencing neck problems. But it is alarming. And it might be the end of the line for a great player.