ENGLEWOOD—Von Miller keeps losing his pass-rushing partners, which is troubling, but not nearly as worrisome as if the partners lost Von.
Which is why Broncos fans may notice Broncos head coach Vance Joseph diminishing Miller’s playing time during the preseason.
“Absolutely,’’ Joseph said. “John (Elway) and I discussed it last night about Von’s preseason reps. Maybe it’s very few.”
Miller’s pass-rush partner on the opposite edge the previous three seasons was DeMarcus Ware. When Ware retired in March, Shane Ray was his heir apparent.
But Ray tore a wrist ligament during the training camp-opening practice Thursday. He had corrective surgery Saturday with the expectation is he will miss the first game or three of the regular season.
With Ray down, Shaquil Barrett would have subbed in. Except Barrett is already out, perhaps until mid-October, with a hip injury.
Miller’s new partner?
“As far as going forward, Edebali will be the first Will backer,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “He’s playing with Von and the first team, and the young guys will be the backup. As simple as that.’’
That’s Kasim Edebali, who grew up in Hamburg, Germany until moving to New Hampshire midway through high school as part of the USA Football International Student Program.
Undrafted out of Boston College, Edebali stuck for three years with the New Orleans Saints, playing in all 48 games and registering 8.0 sacks.
He had just one sack last year but it was against Carolina’s Cam Newton so Edebali should fit right in with the Denver defense.
“Obviously, I’m ready to step up,’’ Edebali said. “It’s been my mantra my whole career. If somebody goes down, 91 is called, give it all you got.”
Behind Edebali is Vontarrius Dora, who opened eyes with two sacks in the preseason opener last year at Chicago. The Broncos also signed outside linebacker Danny Mason for depth and made room on their roster by waiving tight end Henry Krieger-Coble.
Running back woes continue
After losing Devontae Booker to a fractured left wrist before camp started – he had two screws surgically inserted into the break Friday -- the Broncos suffered two more less serious setbacks Saturday.
Bernard Pierce sat out practice Saturday with a pulled hamstring and rookie De’Angelo Henderson missed the afternoon walkthrough after spraining his ankle during Saturday morning’s practice.
The Broncos will practice in full pads Sunday. …
Rookie receiver Carlos Henderson, a third-round draft pick, has dropped a few and has been working with the third team. “He’s a rookie,’’ Joseph said. “He’s trying hard. He wants to be a good player. He wants to help us on offense. He’s trying a little too hard right now, but he’ll be fine. It’s early.” …
In the quarterback competition, Paxton Lynch struggled with staying in the pocket and his passing accuracy Saturday. As he tends to do, he played much better later in practice.
Trevor Siemian was his typical self. He missed a few passes, but he also twice hit Emmanuel Sanders on deep routes down the left sideline. …
Ron Leary is a veteran starting guard, but rookie left tackle Garett Bolles seems to be blending in. “I’m still trying to figure him out myself,’’ Leary said. “He’s a good kid, he loves the game and he’s always happy. You need that little juice sometimes, especially when you get into the dog days at camp. He’s still learning. We have to reel him in sometimes a little bit but I love him. He brings energy to the group and I’m glad he’s here.”
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