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Some Broncos players weren’t thrilled with padded practice this week

George Paton claims the Broncos didn’t make a coaching move for Russell Wilson, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms assess why he must be the focal point of the search for a new head coach.

The Broncos have, in some ways, become even more fascinating in the aftermath of the firing of coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Beyond the concerted effort to rally around quarterback Russell Wilson -- an endeavor that seems rooted in making the team as attractive as possible to potential coaching candidates -- interim coach Jerry Rosburg opted to have a padded practice. With two meaningless regular-season games left.

Rosburg explained to reporters on Thursday that he opted for a padded practice because, under the labor deal, the team had one more padded practice available this year. But the availability of a padded practice doesn’t mean the padded practice has to be used.

We’ve caught wind that some players -- players who would prefer to emerge from final days of a lost season as healthy as possible -- weren’t happy about it.

Why should they be? While playing in the final two games requires maximum effort and physical risk because film is film regardless of the game from which the film comes, players by the end of a given season are doing everything they can to hold their bodies together. A padded practice doesn’t help that effort.

And it’s not as if they’re going to magically rise up and overachieve in an effort to get Rosburg the permanent job. Everyone knows he was a distant Plan B after defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero wisely passed on the opportunity to captain a sunken, drunken ship for two games against a pair of playoff teams, the Chiefs and Chargers.

The bottom line is that the balance of the 2022 season should be all about ensuring that the flak-riddled plane crash lands as smoothly as it can, with minimal player injuries and minimal morale issues among a roster that is sure to be overhauled, as much as it possibly can be, in the coming months.