DENVER - This time next Thursday, the Denver Broncos will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL’s regular season opener in front of a national audience.
But 22 current Broncos will be watching the game from their couch unless they have a strong showing against the Arizona Cardinals in tonight’s preseason finale at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The final preseason game will feature backups, college free agents and veterans who are looking at cementing their spot on the team.
“It’s a great opportunity for those guys that maybe haven’t had as much playing time over the last couple of weeks, said Broncos head coach John Fox. “Now they get that opportunity.”
Broncos’ starters like Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Wesley Woodyard are not expected to play in the game.
Second-string quarterback Brock Osweiler will take the majority of the snaps on offense. Also expected to play will be rookie quarterback Zac Dysert.
“Very excited for the opportunity to get out there with the guys in a game-like environment and just to show people what I can do,” Dysert said.
Several position battles on both sides of the ball will be decided. Defensively, will the final cornerback spot go to Omar Bolden or longtime veteran Quentin Jammer? Will undrafted free agent rookie Lerentee McCray make the roster on special teams?
On offense, will rookie Tavarres King make the team as the fifth wide receiver?
The Broncos will have to cut their roster from 75 players to 53 on Saturday. The team will also have eight players that will make up the practice squad.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.