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Broncos player shares what led to sideline altercation

Brett Rypien without a helmet

Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Several Denver Broncos players got into a heated confrontation during Sunday’s embarrassing blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and one veteran who was involved was honest with reporters about what caused it.

A fan at SoFi Stadium captured a cell phone video that showed Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner aggressively shove backup quarterback Brett Rypien. Running back Latavius Murray responded by pushing Risner back, and Risner continued shouting at Rypien as teammates tried to calm him down.

You can see the video here.

Both Risner and Rypien downplayed the incident after the game. Risner described it to Mike Klis of 9 News as “brotherly love.” He said Rypien tried to tell him that the offensive line needed to do a better job of picking Russell Wilson up after the quarterback got knocked down. Risner said he thought Rypien was criticizing the offensive line for giving up sacks.

“I’ve got so much respect for Ryp. He let our offensive line know that we need to pick up Russell Wilson when he goes down,” Risner explained. “And it’s the middle of the game, it’s heated. I didn’t really hear what he said. I thought he was talking about us giving up sacks.

“Me and him exchanged some words, and (Murray) broke us up, and five minutes later, me and him were hugging. I told him, ‘Hey, I think your message was good, I misunderstood you.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I shouldn’t have came at you that way. Should have been different timing.'”

Rypien agreed that it was a “miscommunication” and said he and Risner are close friends.

Though both players downplayed the tense moment, it may have contributed to Hackett losing his job. The in-fighting on Sunday and throughout the season is one of the main reasons the Broncos did not wait until the end of the season to make a coaching change, according to one report.

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