Broncos notes: Left tackle dilemma, Booker, Kerr fully cleared

ENGLEWOOD - It’s one thing for Allen Barbre, who has long played guard and right tackle in the NFL, to fill in for Garett Bolles for the final 17 plays at left tackle in a decisive victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph explained Barbre is considered a better run-blocker than backup offensive tackle Donald Stephenson and the team wanted to run the ball with the big lead.

But it’s something else to ask Barbre to play an entire game at left tackle against a Buffalo Bills’ defense that sacked Cam Newton six times last week in a 9-3 loss at Carolina.

Considering the Bills have some of the league’s more talented outside pass rushers in Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander, it makes more sense for the Broncos to use Stephenson at left tackle.

“We’ve got some options there,’’ said Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph. “We’re going to explore them all.”

The Broncos are paying Stephenson a $2.5 million salary for occasions such as this. He has started 15 games at left tackle in his career. That’s 15 more than Barbre has at that position.

The Broncos are in a tough spot at left tackle because the rookie Bolles suffered what the team revealed as a bone bruise just above his left ankle in the game last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Joseph added Bolles is “week to week” with his injury, an indication he won’t play this Sunday at Buffalo. But his condition is far better than it appeared when he was carted off the field against Dallas.

Booker, Kerr fully cleared

Running back Devontae Booker and defensive lineman Zach Kerr were absent from the Broncos’ injury report Wednesday.

That means both are ready to go Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Booker (wrist) and Kerr (knee) both returned from injuries last week and practiced on a limited basis. Neither was active for the Broncos’ game against the Dallas Cowboys, but they’re in line to get game-day jerseys Sunday in Buffalo.

The question this week is how much either would play. C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles have handled the entire running back load through two games as rookie De’Angelo Henderson has yet to get an offensive snap.

Besides Kerr, the Broncos may also work in newly signed nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin to the game-day defensive line roster that also included Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko, Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris and Kyle Peko against the Cowboys.

Harris Jr., Paradis are Broncos co-player reps

At the Broncos’ union meeting Wednesday, it was decided cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and center Matt Paradis would continue as the team’s co-player reps. They were both alternates last season to Russell Okung, who served as the Broncos’ player representative.

Okung was released in March and is now playing with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Bronco Bits

Outside linebacker Von Miller (knee), tight end Jeff Heuerman (shoulder), receivers Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) and Bennie Fowler III (concussion) and cornerback Bradley Roby (ankle) were newcomers to the injury list this week. All figure to play against the Bills with the possible exception of Fowler, who is in the concussion protocol.

Fowler, though, did observe practice Wednesday. Last week, guard Ron Leary was in the concussion protocol but observed practice Wednesday as the first step toward playing against the Cowboys. …

Third-round rookie receiver Carlos Henderson hopes to have the cast on his left thumb removed Monday. Henderson suffered his thumb injury early in the Broncos’ first preseason game August 10 at Chicago and they really tore up his thumb ligaments as he continued to play. Henderson is on injured reserve so he won’t be able to practice this season but he can start working out in the weight room. …

Joseph on whether the Bills’ game Sunday is considered a “trap” following a big win against the Cowboys, and with the division-rival Oakland Raiders up next week: “To say it’s a trap game in this league is disrespectful to you opponent. I don’t think it exists in this league to have a trap game. Every team you play has great players. Again, that front seven has three Pro Bowl players. They’re ranked third in the league in defense right now. LeSean McCoy is a great player. Trap game? No. We don’t see it like that.’’

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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