The quarterback narrative that traditionally follows these two teams has been overshadowed by recent events that have both organizations kicking off the season with their own share of controversy.
Colts' Jim Irsay
Colts' owner Jim Irsay was fined $500K and suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the league's Personal Conduct Policy last March.
Irsay pleasded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated following his arrest after a traffic stop in March. The suspension begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. Irsay, who will be barred from the team facility, will be eligible to return following the Colts' game against the Houston Texans on October 9.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Colts COO Pete Ward, GM Ryan Grigson, and Irsay's daughter Carlie Irsay-Gordon will run the team in Irsay's absence.
"I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere," Irsay said in a statement. "Even more importantly, though, I am committed to do everything in my power to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family, and the community."
Irsay, 55, admitted Tuesday to a Hamilton County (Ind.) judge that he was under the influence of painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone while driving in the late hours of March 16 near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel. In his statement, Irsay said the incident has helped him confront his addiction.
Irsay must submit to drug testing, will lose his driver's license and will be on probation for a year. The Colts'' owner is also prohibited from drinking or possessing alcohol during that time.
This news isn't exactly shocking for a Colts' owner who has pushed the envelope in full view of social media. Earlier this week, BRB readers were treated to a homecoming announcement of longtime beloved writer MDC. I recall that he once had a dispute on Twitter with Irsay, and then shared the experience in THIS article.
Broncos' Wes Welker
Wes Welker was suspended four games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Initial reports suggested that he had "Molly" in his system after attending the Kentucky Derby, but it is now being reported that his positive amphetamine results were from the use of Adderall.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports:
Denver Broncos' receiver Wes Welker's four-game amphetamine suspension was triggered by his use of Adderall during the Kentucky Derby, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and not Molly.
Welker was clearly partying at the race, and used the drug at that point (it is used to help individuals stay up or stay focused and it's common among college students pulling all-nighters before exams, for instance), which ended up triggering his positive test.
Sunday Night Football
Enough with the rules violations. Let's get on with some football! The Broncos have bolstered their defense with free agency acquisitions of DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib, and look to make another run at the Super Bowl. The Colts still employ T.Y. Hilton, who is capable of scorching just about any secondary in the NFL. Then again, the Colts have Trent Richardson in the stable, where he's likely to remain bolted down by Von Miller and company.
The floor is yours for an evening of REAL NFL football. The usual rules apply.