ENGLEWOOD -- The Broncos' first road trip features hazard lights flashing.
Denver will look to avoid only its fourth 0-2 start since 1994 while dealing with injuries and inexperience. Starting running back Phillip Lindsay, who shares the role with Melvin Gordon, and ace cornerback A.J. Bouye will miss the Steelers game on Sunday. Denver7 reported previously this week that the duo was not expected to play. As expected, coach Vic Fangio ruled out Lindsay on Friday after he was unable to practice this week. Bouye will miss at least three games after landing on the short-term injured reserve list.
Receiver Courtland Sutton has improved, showing more mobility with his sprained right shoulder. It's fair to wonder if the Broncos will keep Sutton out, preserving him for the long season. He could be a gameday decision.
"Possibly, I haven’t been able to talk to him yet since practice has been over. I think it’s a 50-50 thing. We’re going to see how he feels because he did more on it today. We’ll see how he feels when he comes in tomorrow, then make a decision," Fangio said. "It could go to a pregame warmup.”
The Broncos receiving corps will receive a burst of speed. Rookie K.J. Hamler (hamstring) will make his NFL debut, giving quarterback Drew Lock more weapons, while potentially working on special teams.
The Broncos are a heavy underdog at the Steelers.
Pittsburgh, though, isn't healthy either, playing backups in the middle of their offensive line. It could lead to more aggressive stunts from the Broncos. Denver's defense has held nine of its last 13 opponents to 20 points or less.
However, the Broncos rank in the bottom third of the NFL with 17 takeaways in their past 17 games. Any chance of an upset centers on the defense producing turnovers, shortening the field.
"You can’t be worrying about records and stuff. It’s too early in the season. We have to go out there and really just play good football and just go out there and shut the Steelers down. We have to be the better defense on Sunday," defensive end Shelby Harris said. "Records are not -- obviously, no one wants to start 0-2, but it definitely will set us in the right direction when we go out there and get this W.”
C.J .Anderson retires
Former Broncos running C.J. Anderson retired on Friday. The undrafted free agent made a Pro Bowl with the Broncos and was a critical contributor in their Super Bowl 50 victory. Anderson, one of the smartest players I have ever covered, plans to pursue a college coaching career.
"You know i got the mind. I will work hard," Anderson told Denver7.
Left tackle Garett Bolles has never missed a game in his career, and that streak will continue Sunday. He is battling a sore left elbow. ...
Linebacker Mark Barron was declared out for Sunday with a hamstring issue. ...
The Steelers were not sharp on special teams in their opener, especially on punt returns. That could represent a place where the Broncos could close the gap in what is viewed as a mismatch. ...
Look for running back LeVante Bellamy to be activated for Sunday's game. He would serve as the third string running back behind Gordon and Royce Freeman and work on special teams. ...
Harris laughed when asked about Jurrell Casey stealing some of his thunder by deflecting passes. "I was telling him, ‘Man, that’s my job.’ (laughing) Leave one thing to me just please. Let me get one thing. I’m happy for him. I really believe it’s because we work it every day in practice. It just become more natural to get your hand up and knock the ball down.”
It’s a season of big sports events airing this fall on Denver7. Check out our upcoming schedule:
- Sept. 21: NFL Monday Night Football: Saints vs Raiders
- Sept. 29: MLB Wild Card Series
- Sept. 30: MLB Wild Card Series
- Sept. 30: NBA Finals Game 1 on Denver7
- Oct. 1: Broncos vs Jets on Denver7
- Oct. 1: MLB Wild Card Series (If needed)
- Oct. 2: NBA Finals Game 2 on Denver7
- Oct. 4: NBA Finals Game 3 on Denver7
- Oct. 6: NBA Finals Game 4 on Denver7
- Oct. 9: NBA Finals Game 5 on Denver7
- Oct. 11: NBA Finals Game 6 on Denver7
- Oct. 13: NBA Finals Game 7 on Denver7