Von Miller still 'week or two' from being full-go

Young players like Lorenzo Doss anxious for reps

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A first-team All-Pro talked in third person to explain why he's not playing in the Broncos' preseason opener Thursday.

Welcome to Tuesday's addition of Von being Von:

"It's always a process to get to the game speed that I want to play at. I am ready to go, it's just some of the mental stuff," outside linebacker Von Miller said. "It's the exposure to the game. I'm ready to go out there and play, but the Von I know I can be, the Von I want to be, I'm not there yet."

It would be hard convincing the Broncos offensive line. The Super Bowl 50 MVP continues to dominate in drills as he works himself into shape. The Broncos mapped out a plan for Miller designed to prep him for the season. He might be ready to play in the second game on Aug. 20 at home against the 49ers.

"When San Francisco comes to town, I should be right where I want to be," Miller said.

Miller joins some big-name players on the sidelines against the Bears. Fellow outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (back) has not practiced with the team as he eyes potential snaps in the third preseason game. And cornerback Aqib Talib (lower right leg) returned to practice on Monday, leaving him in need of several days of conditioning before game action. Others of note who will not go: right guard Ty Sambrailo and tight end John Phillips. 

Sambrailo (hyperextended right elbow) has missed a week of practice, and his absence will now be measured in weeks not days. Sambrailo cannot withstand the physical rigors of practice until further healing occurs. He continues to work on drills on the side. His absence creates opportunity for Darrion Weens. Weens, who has played one game in four years in the NFL, will start at right guard. He's listed third on the depth chart but a path opened because of Sambrailo's injury and tackle Russell Okung's progression plan. Okung (right shoulder) has participated in practices, increasing his workload. However, he won't go against the Bears. Michael Schofield, who is competing for the right guard spot, will start in his place. 

The preseason provides a platform for roughly 10-to-12 players to make a team. Those to keep an eye on Thursday include receiver Kalif Raymond, linebacker Zaire Anderson, cornerback Lorenzo Doss, wideout Jordan Taylor and punter Riley Dixon. Raymond will get first opportunity at punt and kick returns. He has shown intriguing elusiveness, but must be able to prove he catch the ball under the lights. Anderson, who nearly made the team last year, has delivered some of the biggest hits in camp. Doss produced a pick-six play earlier in camp, and has been strong on special teams coverage. Taylor is competing for the fifth receiver spot.

For Riley Dixon the game remains huge. The Broncos know what Britton Colquitt can do. But he's making $3.25 million this season. If Dixon proves capable, would Denver look to go younger at the position? Colquitt seems to have the edge thus far in camp.

Footnotes

In what amounted to an up-tempo walk-through, the Broncos quarterbacks all threw interceptions Tuesday. Kayvon Webster picked off Mark Sanchez; Brandian Ross got Trevor Siemian, and B.J. Lowery intercepted Paxton Lynch.

With Ware and Miller out, Shaquil Barrett has benefited from the additional snaps. He snuffed out multiple plays Thursday.

Rookie safety Will Parks is looking forward to his pro debut, even if he seemed a little conflicted, after discussing his pregame rituals. "I'll probably do a little of Meek Mill, Jay-Z and Yeezy. I like to get made before the game. Out on the field is where I smile the most. It's kind of different, I know. I am nervous. And excited. It's an excited nervous."

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