The Broncos, and the other thirty-one teams in the league, have until tomorrow to get their rosters down to eighty players. Denver got a jump start on Monday when the team released cornerback Nate Jones and waived seven others, bringing their roster total down to eighty players.
Running back C.J. Gable, linebacker Braxton Kelley, linebacker Deron Mayo, guard Shawn Murphy, offensive tackle Curt Porter and defensive end David Veikune were the first of many cuts to come for the Broncos. The team has until 6 p.m. (ET) on September 3rd to get the final roster down to fifty-three players.
On game days, forty-six players will be allowed to dress. So in essence, the Broncos will have to make decisions on over thirty-four players between now and their Monday night season opener against Oakland.
On the injury front, there are several notable developments. Linebacker D.J. Williams suffered a dislocated right elbow in the team's Week Three preseason match against the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to miss the season opener. Denver is hopeful however that he'll be ready to go for the team's Week Three match against the Tennessee Titans. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (knee sprain) could also miss the opener but is expected to be back by the team's Week Two match against Cincinnati Bengals.
As for defensive tackle Ty Warren (who had triceps surgery last week), the team is hopeful that his season has not ended. Coach John Fox noted that the Broncos hope to have Warren back by the final third of the season. Meanwhile, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who had an off-season Achilles tendon surgery, is recovering well and may return soon than the team had originally anticipated.
Originally expected to be out through mid-November, Thomas said if all goes well he could be back on the field in less than a month. The addition of Thomas would add more depth to an already solid Broncos receiving squad that features Pro Bowler Brandon Lloyd, slot machine Eddie Royal and second year sleeper Eric Decker.
Though it is only the preseason, the Broncos defense is looking vastly improved from last year. Through it's first three preseason matches, Denver's first-team defense has only allowed only 213 yards on 70 plays (3.0 yards per play) and 9 points off three field goals. Per the team's Executive Director of Media Relations, Patrick Smyth, the Broncos defense is also ranked in the NFL's top 10 in 10-of-18 categories, including yards per play (6th) and sacks per pass (9th).
Rookie linebacker Von Miller is in a three-way tie for most sacks in the preseason (with 3.0) while the team ranks 9th in the NFL with 9.0 overall. Needless to say, sackmasters Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil will feast on opposing quarterbacks this fall.