Maybe Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning really should swap the pistol formation for punt formation on Sunday.
With a Vikings defense that repeatedly pummeled Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers over the past two games coming to town, the Broncos have been forced to shuffle their tackles, due to an injury that will keep Ty Sambrailo from playing. Sambrailo, the season-long replacement for Ryan Clady, has a shoulder problem.
As a result, Ryan Harris moves from the right side to the left side, and Michael Schofield moves into the starting lineup.
For Schofield, it’s not just his first NFL start — it’ll be his first snap in an NFL regular-season game.
“I’ll definitely have some butterflies,” Schofield recently said, via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. “I’m sure everyone does in their first game. I’ve just got to go out there, play with confidence and play with good technique.”
Schofield now has to prove that he’s worth of the third-round pick the team invested in him.
“This is a great opportunity for Michael,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “As a player, that’s all you ask for — work, work, work and then someday, OK, hey, here we go. Then you find out. It’s Michael’s turn.”
It could end up being Brian Robison’s turn to make Schofield into a turnstile. Ditto for Everson Griffen, who’ll be facing Harris on the other side. The Minnesota defensive line has been stout this season, and Manning may have to get rid of the ball even faster. Or, if all else fails, hit the deck.