The Denver Broncos 2023 NFL Preseason schedule was officially announced on Wednesday for a slate of three preseason games against the NFC West, with two contests on the road.

Denver’s first preseason contest will come on the road against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, August 11 with kickoff time slated for 8:00 p.m. MT. The Broncos faced Arizona in Week 15 of last season and came out victorious 24-15.

Former Cardinals and current Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will face his former team after they chose to move in a different direction after firing Kliff Kingsbury.

Jonathan Gannon was hired by Arizona and will coach in his first game as the head coach of the Cardinals, while Sean Payton will coach in his first game as a member of the Broncos.

Payton has previously indicated that Denver will play their starters during the preseason, so August’s slate of games will be important as the team looks to remain healthy throughout training camp.

The Broncos’ second road game of the preseason will come against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, August 19 with kickoff slated for 6:30 p.m. MT. Denver beat the 49ers during the regular season in 2022 in an 11-10 defensive slugfest.

They’ll conclude the preseason with their first home game at Empower Field at Mile High against the Los Angeles Rams — where various stadium renovations that took place this off-season are expected to be seen by the public.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton said the team is hoping to hold a joint training camp practice with the Rams during the week leading up to the preseason finale.

“The goal is to have a joint practice with the Rams,” Payton noted during rookie minicamp. “[Rams Head Coach] Sean [McVay] and I have talked. Obviously, the ownership groups are connected, along with [Rams General Manager] Les [Sneed] and [General Manager] George [Paton]. There has been no announcement made, but our hope and goal is to have a chance to practice here. I wasn’t here last year, but I know [the team] did it with Dallas. Our goal is to have a joint practice with Los Angeles and play that third [preseason] game.”

The NFL has thrown an interesting wrinkle into the roster rules for this upcoming season, by allowing teams to cut their rosters from 90 to 53 after the third and final preseason game.

As Payton embarks on his first season with the Broncos, it will be crucial for him and his staff to have extra time to evaluate every player they have on their training camp roster. In theory, Denver and other NFL teams could make roster cuts as preseason moves along, but it will be dependent upon where the Broncos feel they need to make a move.

The Denver Broncos will continue with their offseason program on May 23-25 with the start of voluntary minicamp and OTAs.