The Denver Broncos returned to the practice field on Thursday in preparation for Monday Night’s matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Denver will benefit from having several key players return to the lineup including help at cornerback.

Denver Broncos cornerback Michael Ojemudia excited ahead of return

The Denver Broncos secondary has been a bright spot for them this season, ranking atop the NFL in passing yards allowed. Combined with a strong pass rush, the Broncos’ secondary is allowing an average of 176.6 yards passing per game.

On Monday, the Broncos’ defense will be tasked with taking on the NFL’s 2nd ranked passing offense led by Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers are averaging nearly 291.2 yards per game through the air this season and will present Denver’s secondary with their biggest challenge yet.

Logistically speaking, it’s hard to imagine the Broncos matching up Patrick Surtain against anybody other than Mike Williams who has 392 yards receiving this season and has emerged as Herbert’s number-one target this year. Williams poses the biggest threat to Denver’s secondary with his size and playmaking ability.

However, the Chargers are expected to receive help with Keenan Allen’s potential return. This is where third-year cornerback Michael Ojemudia may come in handy. After Ronald Darby’s season-ending ACL injury, the Broncos will have to rely on both Ojemudia and rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis on the outside.

Mathis has been limited throughout practice this week with a knee injury that he dealt with in the Broncos’ 12-9 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday night. Mile High Sports caught up with Ojemudia this week in the Broncos locker room as he’s returned to practice after the team designated him, Justin Simmons, and Greg Dulcich to return from injured reserve.

“You’ve got to get mental reps while you’re out,” Ojemudia said regarding the process of staying on top of things while being on injured reserve. “You can only get the real reps while you’re on the field, so while you’re out you definitely have to get the mental reps to keep your mind sharp.”

Ojemudia suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 2 of the NFL preseason which has derailed his opportunity to be as involved in the Broncos’ defense. There’s a chance he plays on Monday against the Chargers and he’s excited about the possibility.

“It was definitely a bummer not being out there,” Ojemudia said. “I’ve just got a lot of confidence going into this Monday, and I’m really excited about this opportunity.”

Whether the Broncos start Ojemudia or Mathis at cornerback will be something to watch for Monday Night’s game, but both players will be needed throughout this season on defense and special teams.