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Bronco notes: Lock wins the day but Seattle could be key to QB battle

Professional attitude helps Royce Freeman persevere. Surtain sidelined in practice with leg soreness. Von a new father.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Following the Broncos’ joint practice last Wednesday at the Vikings’ training complex in Eagan, Minn., Teddy Bridgewater appeared to be the frontrunner in The Great Quarterback Competition.

Bridgewater won that day thanks to a final-series touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy while Drew Lock, the other QB competitor, threw an interception. Not only had Bridgewater won the day, at that point he had won more days than not.

Since then, momentum has swung toward Lock.

He was terrific in the Broncos’ 33-6 rout of the Vikings during the preseason game Saturday, and Lock was the best quarterback during a return to training camp Tuesday.

Even though, Bridgewater, who also played well in the preseason opener at Minnesota, will start in the second preseason game this Saturday at Seattle, Lock operated the No. 1 offense during multiple team periods Tuesday.

Still, preseason game No. 2 figures to be a huge determining factor before head coach Vic Fangio picks his starting quarterback for the regular-season opener Sept. 12 against the New York Giants. But going into the Seattle preseason game, Lock appears to be in good position.

Best to wait until after the game Saturday night that doesn’t kick off until 8 p.m. MDT on Channel 20 before making any proclamations.

One thing to remember about the Great Quarterback Competition: It’s been so close between Lock and Bridgewater, Teddy and Drew, that whoever wins the starting assignment for Game 1 will know that his backup is not far behind.

RELATED: Bronco notes: Possible that Fangio picks his starting QB after Seattle game

Royce rolls on

It happens to running backs all the time. Devontae Booker was a Broncos’ fourth-round pick in 2016 and was supposed to become the No. 1 tailback in 2017. But he had wrist surgery prior to training camp, then fell behind the likes of C.J. Anderson one year, Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay the next.

Booker hung tough, and established himself as a No. 2 tailback with the Raiders and now the Giants.

Royce Freeman was a Broncos’ third-round pick in 2018 and was the Broncos’ starting running back as a rookie. Then he started falling behind Lindsay, then Melvin Gordon III and Lindsay. This offseason, when the Broncos signed Mike Boone in free agency and drafted Javonte Williams in the second round with Gordon returning, it appeared Freeman would be the fourth back out.

But Freeman has run well during training camp and has returned to the No. 3 tailback spot after Boone went down with a quad strain last week. The key for Freeman was to stay professional and not worry about his job status or trading block.

“No you really can’t worry about those things,’’ he said following practice Tuesday. “You’ve got to control what you can because at the end of the day I feel like I have a value and … just competing is what this game is all about.

“Having those types of backs in the room adds that layer of becoming a student and watch their game closer because they’re in the same room and taking those little pieces that Boone has and Javonte has and see how they do it and add that to my own game.”

Chubb addresses Bolles battle

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb looks on during drills at a mandatory minicamp at the NFL team's training headquarters Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Right edge rusher Bradley Chubb and left tackle Garett Bolles have resumed their daily practice battles. The matchup got testy 10 days ago when tempers flared and a physical and verbal altercation ensued. All's good now, though, apparently.

“He’s one of the best tackles in the league, and I try to make myself one of the best rushers in the league,'' Chubb said Tuesday. "Iron is sharpening iron. It’s been fun. Of course, we had the scuffle a couple days ago, but brothers do that. We get into it, but we know how to love each other up, too. It’s been fun competing with him, and I feel like he’s making me better and I’m making him better.”

RELATED: Fight, ugly exchange between Garett Bolles and Bradley Chubb story of Broncos camp Day 9

Surtain has soreness

Credit: Brian Olson/KUSA

After the first 11 on 11 period Tuesday, first-round rookie cornerback Pat Surtain II watched the rest of practice from the sideline.

“He had a little soreness in a lower extremity,’’ Fangio said. “He could have kept going, I just told Vince (Garcia, head trainer) to get him out of there.”

Michael Ojemudia replaced Surtain.

Broncos Bits

Von Miller missed a second practice Tuesday as his first child, a boy, was delivered late in the night, according to Fangio. …

Top receiver Courtland Sutton is coming along in his recovery from ACL surgery, but he still has some fine-tuning to go, especially as he’s been playing with a knee brace. “Hopefully, in the next few days, or next few weeks he’ll take a big step forward and feel comfortable and feel rarin’ to go,’’ Fangio said. …

Right tackle Bobby Massie, who started Saturday against the Vikings, was again practicing with the No. 1 offensive line Tuesday while his competitors for the job, Calvin Anderson and Cam Fleming, worked with the No. 2 offense at left and right tackle, respectively. Does that mean Massie has settled in as the right tackle starter? “No,’’ Fangio said. …

Fangio said he would play a lot of his starters Saturday in the preseason game at Seattle.

RELATED: Broncos switch running backs, adding Killins and waiving Bellamy with injury