Broncos miss the on-field talent of linebacker D.J. Williams

It's times like this when D.J. Williams becomes conspicuous by his absence.

Where was the Broncos' best all-around linebacker Sunday as quarterback Tom Brady was making the Broncos' defense look embarrassingly inept against the rush-to-snap, rush-to-rush New England Patriots' offense?

Where was Williams as the Patriots rushed the ball an astounding 54 times for 251 yards, and 18 of their team-record 35 first downs?

Where was Williams as four or five Broncos were shifting from weak side to strong side while the Patriots were running back to the weak side? Or was that strong side to weak side?

Maybe Williams could have helped the Broncos think through their confusion.

Williams hasn't been around to help, though, because the NFL punished him not just six games for flunking a performance-enhancement test, but an additional three games for his second alcohol-related driving conviction.

His nine-games missed covers what on paper is the most difficult portion of the Broncos' schedule.

"With a legal situation like this — it's not like we had our head in the sand and said everything is going to be OK," Broncos coach John Fox said Monday. "We knew additional discipline was a possibility. We have prepared accordingly and will continue to evaluate things going forward."

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