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Nathaniel Hackett: “Gossip” that Russell Wilson has lost people in locker room

Nathaniel Hackett says nobody is as frustrated as he is, which leads Mike Florio and Myles Simmons to examine how the Broncos haven’t been setting up Russell Wilson to play his best.

Quarterback Russell Wilson’s relationship with his Broncos teammates came up during last Sunday’s loss to the Panthers when defensive lineman Mike Purcell was seen yelling in Wilson’s face during a change in possession.

Purcell didn’t appear to be saying anything too friendly to Wilson, but both players said the defensive lineman was trying to provide a spark during another losing effort. That was followed by a pair of reports that also address how well Wilson is getting along with others in the locker room.

One indicated that about half the team attended a birthday party for Wilson this week and Tom Pelissero of NFL media reported that the quarterback has “lost some people in the locker room.” The latter report led to a question for head coach Nathaniel Hackett at Wednesday’s press conference and Hackett dismissed it.

“To me, it’s all gossip,” Hackett said, via Nick Kosminder of “We have a fantastic locker room. I’ve never seen somebody work that hard and try to embrace a team like he has.”

Wilson’s work doesn’t mean that the team is going to embrace him back, especially during a lost season that has seen Wilson, Hackett and the team at large become the butt of jokes around the league. How all of that impacts the team’s path for 2023 will be a leading storyline of the offseason.