<
>

Week in California will figure in many of Broncos' roster decisions

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With plenty of decisions to make on offense, the Denver Broncos will get a bonus look at the players involved in what in many ways is a multi-game week.

The Broncos will practice with the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday (in full pads) and Thursday before the teams play a preseason game Saturday night in Levi’s Stadium. And while Broncos coach Vance Joseph wants to avoid a push-and-shove affair this week, he does want to get a look at his roster, with choices still to be made at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end and running back and along the offensive line, just to start.

“We don’t want to have any fights, we don’t want to have any nonsense,’’ Joseph said. “We just want to go play football. [49ers coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I have already talked … that’s going to be emphasized to both football teams. We just want to get our work in, no fighting, no pushing, just good professional football work.’’

Much of the discussion in and around the Broncos will center on quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, who could be in the last week of their competition to be the starter if the Broncos want to have one in place before their third preseason game, Aug. 26 against the Green Bay Packers. Asked Tuesday, just before the team left for California, if the quarterback decision could come by next Monday, Joseph said:

“Monday? I don’t know. I’m not sure and I’m not there yet. Paxton is starting Saturday, and after the game we’ll sit down and watch and figure out our plans from there, but I’m not sure. I’m not stressed about that -- about it being Monday.’’

There are plenty of other questions to answer on the depth chart, especially on offense. With Matt Paradis still on track at center after offseason surgery on both hips, the makeover on the offensive line around him likely will include free-agent additions Ron Leary and Menelik Watson in the starting lineup at guard and right tackle, respectively, to go with rookie Garett Bolles at left tackle.

But one guard spot is open and could provide the fourth new face on the offensive line. Allen Barbre, Max Garcia and Billy Turner have worked at left guard thus far, with Barbre getting snaps with the starters this week, his first since he joined the Broncos in a trade early in camp.

“Allen Barbre is a pro’s pro,’’ Joseph said. “He came in and hit the ground running. He hadn’t made a bunch of errors at all, he’s a tough guy. He makes pass pro look easy at times. It’s what we saw on tape from Allen. … Again, the guard position is an open competition there between three or four guys, so the best guy is going to play.’’

At running back, Jamaal Charles presents one of the biggest questions. He will not play Saturday but is expected to take some snaps in drills during the week. Charles has played in just eight games in the past two seasons because of multiple knee surgeries, and the Broncos are trying to figure out what his role could be in the offense. He is expected to play Aug. 26 against the Packers.

With Devontae Booker expected to return by the start of the season from surgery to repair a fracture in his left wrist, the Broncos continue to try to figure out how the workload will be divided in the backfield. C.J. Anderson has worked as the No. 1 back in Booker’s absence, but rookie De’Angelo Henderson has already shown plenty in camp and may have carved out a role. Stevan Ridley, who was signed when Booker had surgery as camp opened, has shown himself to be driven, and he learned the offense quickly with quality work as a receiver.

That’s all as the Broncos continue to believe Booker, who was poised to compete for the No. 1 job when camp opened, will be involved, to go with whatever determination they make about Charles.

“We have a lot of guys in our room,’’ Anderson said. “The goal is to push each other, we all get better.’’

Toss in some difficult choices on the depth chart at wide receiver and tight end, and the Broncos’ week in Northern California could have a lot to say about what their roster looks like next month.

“We’ll keep working and make the best decisions we can,’’ Joseph said.