The Denver Broncos' 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas marked a new low for the team, and led to the firing of first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett the following day. Russell Wilson threw three interceptions while the defense allowed Baker Mayfield and Cam Akers to look like the "The Greatest Show on Turf." Anger boiled over on the Broncos sideline during the game, as offensive lineman Dalton Risner and backup quarterback Brett Rypien got into a bit of a tiff.
In the third quarter, CBS cameras caught the end of the altercation between Risner and Rypien on the sideline. The quarterback was being led away from the offensive linemen on the sideline, while Risner was yelling in his direction.
BREAKING: The Denver Broncos are NOT in the Christmas spirit, per @tracywolfson. pic.twitter.com/n6fS6S0eHh— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 25, 2022
Monday, a better view of the altercation was found on social media, showing Risner shoving Rypien, and Broncos running back Latavius Murray shoving Risner in response.
Tempers flare between Risner/Rypien on the sideline this afternoon at SoFi @MaseDenver pic.twitter.com/WDplRgm3Lx— Mitchell Reiter (@reiter_mitchell) December 26, 2022
Following the game, we found out this incident occurred when Rypien told the offensive line they needed to do a better job of picking up their quarterback when he went down.
"First off, it's brotherly love,'' Risner told 9NEWS. "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. 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.'
"You know, so things happen when you're frustrated and you're competitors and you want to win. We have nothing but love for each other."
Rypien agreed in saying there was no beef after the fact. It simply had to do with frustration.
"It was just miscommunication,'' Rypien said. "Dalton and I are really good friends. He thought I said something else.''
This was just one of the several instances on Sunday that looked bad for the Broncos, and led to the franchise's decision to fire their head coach.