Not only are the Broncos undefeated after their first game, they are mostly healthier entering their second game.
Defensive linemen Jared Crick and Zach Kerr, and running back Devontae Booker returned to practice after missing significant time with injuries.
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph indicated Kerr would play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys but that Booker would need more time, and Crick would be questionable.
“It’s good for our football team,’’ Joseph said. “With Kerr, facing the Cowboys this week, with a big offensive line that runs the football, that’s huge for us.
“Booker, it’s good to have him back. He probably won’t play this week. He has to get back in football condition, but it’s good to have him out there.”
Booker missed all of training camp, the preseason and the season opener because of a fractured right wrist. Crick has been out a month with a back injury. Kerr was down three weeks with a knee injury.
The Broncos are expected to lose rookie cornerback Brendan Langley this week because of a knee sprain suffered in the Broncos’ win Monday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. Lorenzo Doss, who was inactive in week 1, will be the Broncos’ No. 4 corner.
Two other starters, right guard Ron Leary and safety Darian Stewart, are questionable. Leary, a former Cowboy, suffered a concussion against the Chargers but was far enough along in the league’s protocol to observe practice Wednesday. If Leary can’t go, the Broncos are expected to start either Billy Turner or Connor McGovern. Turner is a true right guard while McGovern swings between center and guard.
It appears Stewart will play, although they have to monitor his strained groin. If Stewart can’t play, the Broncos’ safety tandem would be second-year players Will Parks and Justin Simmons.
He said it
Joseph on the Cowboys’ offensive line even after losing Leary to free agency: “This is the best offensive line in football.’’
Those who got game balls for their performance against the Chargers on Monday night: Shelby Harris (game-saving blocked field goal), Bennie Fowler III (two touchdown catches) and Stewart (all-around fine play at safety).
This year, the Broncos also have the “I Balled’’ award.” Cody Latimer (36-yard kickoff return and blow-up tackle on punt return), tight end Virgil Green (blocking and 44-yard reception) and punter Riley Dixon (punts of 51 yards with no return; 53 yards with a -3-yard return; and 40 yards, no return) received the first set of “I Balled’’ awards
With the Cowboys in town, the Broncos are honoring future Hall of Fame pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. A Cowboy for 9 seasons, a Bronco for three, Ware is No. 8 on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 138.5 (21.5 in three seasons with the Broncos).
Back issues and age (35) forced Ware to retire this offseason even though he was still effective when healthy.
Ware was a captain of the Broncos’ defense that won Super Bowl 50. He had an astounding 7 quarterback hits – count ‘em, 7 – on Tom Brady in the 2015 AFC Championship Game and 2.0 sacks on Cam Newton in the Super Bowl.
Ware will serve as the Broncos’ honorary captain during the coin toss, and will then be recognized on the field between the first and second quarters.