ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Russell Wilson has cleared the concussion protocol but will not play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals after coach Nathaniel Hackett said the Denver Broncos decided to sit the quarterback for one game.
Hackett said Wilson, who will be a game-day inactive, will start Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Rams. Brett Rypien will start against the Cardinals.
“As an organization, we decided to give [Wilson] another week to get ready so he’s ready to go for the Los Angeles Rams,” Hackett said after practice Friday. “We informed him of the decision. He’s not happy with it. He wants to be out there and play. … But we as an organization, after talking and discussing for this entire week, have decided it’s best for our organization, best for Russell. And we talked about this all the way from top all the way to the bottom.”
Wilson said he wanted to play after feeling “great all week.”
“It was a collective decision. … They wanted me to get some extra rest,” Wilson said.
Wilson was knocked from the Sunday loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after his head hit ground when he slammed to the turf on a fourth-quarter scramble. Wilson stayed on the ground for a few moments and appeared woozy when the Broncos’ medical staff helped him to the sideline.
He participated at least some in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before Hackett informed Wilson of the decision to keep him out of the game. Hackett said Friday that general manager George Paton, team ownership and Wilson were all part of the discussion.
“[Wilson] looked great out there. He’s been great. He’s been in meetings. … He’s passed all the concussion protocol,” Hackett said. “As an organization we talked, we looked at it. … We just want to do what’s right for him.”
Hackett said earlier in the week that he believed Wilson was briefly knocked unconscious on the play in which he was injured. The coach had emphasized all week that a decision on Wilson would be made with “Russ’ safety” in mind.
Rypien was told Friday that he would start against the Cardinals. Including his time on the practice squad, Rypien has been with the Broncos for four seasons, and Sunday will be his third career start and second this season. He was 24-of-46 for 225 yards with an interception in the Week 7 loss to the New York Jets, when Wilson missed the game with a hamstring injury.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity. … My only focus is trying to get win a Sunday,” Rypien said. “Obviously, we want to take care of [Wilson]. That’s your franchise quarterback. That’s a guy everybody cares about in this building. … I know Russ probably doesn’t like it, he wants to be out there whenever he can, but you’ve got to think safety first.”
Wilson had posted his first three-touchdown game with the Broncos on Sunday as an attempted comeback from a 27-0 deficit in the second quarter fell just short in the 34-28 loss.