Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey received a limited snap count last week against the San Diego Chargers, but the future Hall of Famer will have a big task ahead of him this afternoon against the New England Patriots. Star slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr. tore his ACL, and it was definitely a devastating injury for the Broncos given just how great of a corner Harris is. But contrary to what people think, Bailey isn’t a washed up vet. He obviously isn’t the kind of player he used to be, but he’s still a decent cover man. That said, he has his work cut out for him against the likes of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and it will be interesting to watch him and Tom Brady go at it. Bailey will start as the left corner again, which is where he started before this season when the Broncos signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who has been excellent, and limited Bailey’s snaps.
Bailey told the USA Today’s Lindsay H. Jones that he won’t have his snaps limited today, ”[The pitch count] doesn’t exist this week. Whatever it takes.”
The last line stands out, because the Broncos have to get a full day’s work from Champ Bailey this afternoon, and he needs to be at his best against Edelman and Amendola. The Patriots passing attack runs through those two guys, and he’ll also have to face off against rookies Aaron Dobson and, if healthy, Kenbrell Thompkins. Dobson could give him the most problems due to his size and ability to stretch the field vertically (he’s also good at making circus catches).
Bailey won’t be limited out there, he’ll be on the outside for most of the day, and he isn’t going to be a sub-package player. He’s going to be a starter again in a crucial game, and it’s time for him to show everyone why he’s still someone to fear out there at CB.