ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (AP) – Brandon McManus is grateful but doubts he deserves his AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for scoring his extra five points and a 52-yard field goal in the Denver Broncos’ explosion against the Lions. Detroit.
“I think it’s a distorted price sometimes,” McManus said Wednesday after winning the award for the third time in an eight-year career. “I don’t know if it’s written in the rules that you have to win the game, but what I’ve noticed in those eight years is that you do.
“Obviously I appreciate the award and was able to honor Demaryius wearing my crampons,” added McManus, arriving at the stadium on Sunday wearing the No.88 shirt of his friend and former teammate Demaryius Thomas, whose death last week in 33-year-old shook. the world of the NFL.
When McManus entered the stadium, he also had custom studs draped around his neck that represented DT’s famous smile, which he wore in the Broncos’ 38-10 win.
“So it’s special for me in that sense,” McManus said. “But I think they could look for ways to change that price because I’m sure there was a guy who kicked more or (had) more kicks than me.”
Two of them are in AFC West with McManus.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker kicked off an extra six points and scored field goals from 54 and 37 yards for a dozen points in Kansas City’s 48-9 blowout against the Raiders. And Dustin Hopkins scored 13 points in the Chargers’ 37-21 win over the Giants with four more runs and baskets from 27, 38 and 39 yards.
Ka’imi Fairbairn scored 61 yards in the Texans’ 33-13 loss to Seattle and Justin Tucker’s three goals included one on 50 yards and another on 55 yards in Baltimore’s 24-22 loss to Cleveland.
McManus, who also won the award twice last year, didn’t need an NFL fashion police waiver to wear his custom studs in Thomas’ honor. League rules prohibit players in all other positions from wearing custom cleats outside of the two weekends when the NFL allows players to spotlight their charitable causes.
“There’s also a nice clause in the rule books and kickers can kind of wear whatever they want, kickers and bettors,” said McManus. “So we can really wear any color. We don’t have color schemes or anything like that.
The Broncos (7-6) are trying to reach the playoffs for the first time since winning Super Bowl 50.
The exchange of McManus’ best friend, star linebacker Von Miller, to the Los Angeles Rams on November 1 made McManus the last remaining member of that champion team.
McManus understands this is just business – good business, in all likelihood, as general manager George Paton was able to pick up two draft picks for Miller, the franchise’s career leader in sacks and wisecracks.
“Obviously I miss my friend here. But I lost my teammate; I haven’t lost my friend. And so I still talk to him all the time, ”McManus said.
McManus is among 10 Broncos who played with Thomas, whose family believe he died of a seizure Thursday at his home in Roswell, Ga.
“It’s so tragic. In my video, when I hear his voice and remember all the conversations we’ve had together, even at Peyton’s dedication, I got to speak with him, ”McManus said. “And I saw how awesome he was with other people’s kids and he hadn’t had a chance to meet mine yet. So that’s what was the most difficult.
The Broncos paid homage to Thomas last weekend with his No.88 jersey draped over their bench, stenciled on their sideline and glued to their helmets.
They have another big home game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are also 7-6 and stranded in the AFC playoff race.
McManus wants to help bring the Broncos back to the playoffs after a long drought in which they’ve only had one winning season in the past five.
“Oh, that would definitely mean a lot of things,” he said. “I’m tired of being in Cancun early enough.”
NOTES: The Broncos signed seventh-year veteran S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and WR Travis Fulgham to their practice squad on Wednesday. Clinton-Dix was released from the Raiders practice squad last week after appearing in two games for Las Vegas this season with all of his special-team shots. … Half a dozen players missed practice, which was moved indoors with hurricane-force winds sweeping the Rocky Mountains: DE Dre’Mont Jones (foot), ILB Kenny Young (head), RT Bobby Massie (hip), S Kareem Jackson (back), S Caden Sterns (shoulder / neck) and OLB Stephen Weatherly (illness unrelated to COVID).
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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