ENGLEWOOD—The Denver Broncos will fly off today to the Miami-area without their star cornerback Aqib Talib, and with a revised offensive and defensive lines.
And yet, the Broncos are the favorite for the game Sunday at Miami.
How are the Dolphins doing?
Ruled out for the game are Broncos starting defensive end Derek Wolfe (neck), nose tackle Domata Peko Sr. (left knee) and right guard Ron Leary (back). Meanwhile, right tackle Allen Barbre will be replaced by Donald Stephenson for performance reasons.
Zach Kerr will replace Peko, who will not start for the first time since the final game of the 2009 season, and Shelby Harris will replace Wolfe.
“I’m grateful I was able to put that streak together,’’ Peko said. “This doesn’t happen very often. I was just looking at the guys that are up there in the 100-something games started in a row. There’s a lot of DBs, a lot of smaller dudes, wide receivers—to have a nose guard in that category is pretty awesome.”
Connor McGovern, a second-year, fifth-round draft pick from Missouri, will make his first NFL Sunday.
“For a young guy to have the chance to have his first start, it will be fun to see,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “He’s worked hard. He’s played good in preseason. He’s played good in spot play this year. He’ll have a full game to play against, again, good competition in Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips—top notch defensive lineman. It will be fun to see.”
These changes occurred after 9News broke the news Monday that quarterback Paxton Lynch is out with a high ankle sprain and Trevor Siemian is back at quarterback.
Three players didn’t practice Friday because of illness: Shane Ray, Todd Davis and DeMarcus Walker.
Joseph said Walker, a second-round rookie who hasn’t been dressing on game day, would be the No. 3 defensive end Sunday against the Dolphins.
The Broncos promoted undrafted rookie cornerback Marcus Rios from their practice squad. He will take the roster spot of Talib, who is serving a one-game suspension.