As the Denver Broncos prepare for the third week of the preseason against the St. Louis Rams a lot has changed and a lot of differences should be seen Saturday.
The main difference is that the game is expected to look like a regular season game. Coach John Fox wants the starters to come back into the game after the half. This is the last opportunity for players to show their worth and go full speed because they can have enough time to heal for the regular season if any common, but not serious, injuries occur.
Peyton Manning said that “from an offensive standpoint we’ve worked on things in training camp and you want to see guys taking it from the practice field to the playing field.”
Some of those things being worked on this past week was controlling the ball and offensive coordinator Adam Gase said that last week against Seattle “for us to have three fumbles in the first half was totally unacceptable. We’ve been working on it again, and the point of emphasis has to be that we cannot turn the ball over.”
They are also preparing more of a game plan specific to the Rams unlike the previous weeks and it should give fans a taste of something similar to a regular season game.
As far as Broncos injuries go it looks like Wes Welker will be out the rest of the preseason however Coach Fox said that if it was a regular season game he would be playing.
Manning analyzing Wes Welker’s catch at Wednesday’s practice (Photo Credit: Denver Broncos)
After a scary moment last week Derek Wolfe is expected to return as soon as his neck pain goes away as he suffered from a cervical strain. He should also hopefully be ready to play in the first game of the regular season.
Ryan Clady is expected to finally play with the first team Saturday so it will be great to have some additional solid security for Manning.
The Broncos will have to work without Von Miller due to his 6-game suspension. Because this process has taken a while the teams has gotten use to the idea of not having him around so everybody has gotten reps according to John Elway.
Miller will be able to participate in the last couple pre-games and weight train with the team but he won’t be able to practice or play until the suspension is over.
Defensive coordinator John Del Rio said that they “have been moving guys around a lot,” including moving Wesley Woodyard to the middle to fill Miller’s void as well as Stewart Bradley who just had surgery on his wrist. Shaun Phillips is also one of the players expected to step up being that he is an experienced player entering his 10th year and last season he had 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
It isn’t expected that there will be one player to completely fill the void but rather the entire Broncos D needs to step up.