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Hackett apologizes for Broncos' performance in Buffalo

Broncos head coach: “In the end that’s not what we want to be about when it comes to physicality.''

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For starters, most of them won’t play again this Saturday in the Broncos’ final preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Broncos starting quarterback Russell Wilson will finish this preseason with 0 completions in 0 attempts. He will have many completions and even more attempts during the cumulative practices. But no Russ in preseason games.

“For me, you lose two guys for an extended period just in this Bills game, I don’t want it to be anybody who potentially could be in that Seattle game,’’ said Broncos’ head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

The Broncos open the regular season Monday, Sept. 12 at Seattle.

Reserve cornerback Michael Ojemudia suffered a dislocated right elbow, and offensive lineman Casey Tucker suffered a harrowing dislocated big right toe. They will be out at least four to six weeks. If they are placed on injured reserve, they would not be eligible to return until week 5 of the regular season.

Not hurt in the Bills game was Wilson, or any major starters save punter Sam Martin, who got his left plant foot stuck in the Bills’ stadium turf during the warmup period and sprained his ankle. Martin taped it up and was going to punt anyway, but it was decided it would be best if he waited. He is expected to punt this Saturday against the Vikings in the preseason game that kicks off at 7:05 p.m. (Channel 20) at Empower Field at Mile High.

What would Hackett say to the fans who are anxious to see Wilson play, even if it’s for a couple series in a preseason game?

RELATED: Mostly-backup Buffalo Bills wallop backup Denver Broncos, 42-15

“The first thing I would tell the fans is I’m sorry for that game two days ago because that is not what we’re looking for,’’ Hackett said about the 42-15 shellacking his backup Broncos took from the Buffalo Bills. “But I mean I think the fans will understand more when we get all the way to week 17. That goes for all those guys, Courtland (Sutton), Jerry (Jeudy), all those guys. We want to see them in real games.‘'

Hackett referred to the Green Bay Packers he served as an offensive coordinator last season. Their starters didn’t play in the preseason and they finished 0-3 in games that didn’t count.

“But in the end they were healthy and they were strong as we finished throughout that season,’’ said Hackett about his 13-4 Packers.

Still, the performance of the backup Broncos was lower-your-head, hide-your eyes embarrassing – especially with their goal line defense when Bills’ running backs scored on five plays essentially without being touched (one was called back by penalty).

“In the end that’s not what we want to be about when it comes to physicality,’’ Hackett said. “Across the board. I think everybody can be more physical but it looked like they were thinking too much.’’

Broncos Notes

Denver waived injured defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer. Spencer was drafted out of Mississippi State in the 7th round by the Broncos in 2021. He appeared in one game for the Broncos last season and is a candidate to be brought back on the practice squad next week after final cuts are made by 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Broncos will make four more roster cuts Tuesday with two or three expected to be injury-related transactions. ...

Spencer was waived to make room for running back Devine Ozigbo, whom the Broncos claimed off waivers from New Orleans. The former Nebraska star had three stints with the Saints, two with Jacksonville and one with New England  since 2019. He has 11 carries for 25 yards in his career. He might get a carry or two in the Broncos' preseason game Saturday vs. the Vikings. ...

Slot receiver KJ Hamler and edge rusher Randy Gregory mixed in some non-padded team reps Monday. But right tackle Billy Turner, who was activated off the PUP list last week, missed four consecutive practice. He is recovering from athroscopic knee surgery. 

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