The Denver Broncos were back on the practice field on Wednesday at the Centura Training Center as they prepare for Sunday’s road contest against AFC West division rival the Los Angeles Chargers. What does the injury report look like early in the week, and how do they plan on limiting the impact of Chargers prolific wide receiver Keenan Allen?

Denver Broncos defense focused on limiting Keenan Allen’s impact

One of the biggest challenges facing the Broncos’ defense this weekend is trying to find ways to limit the chemistry and impact of Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen. The QB-WR pair has established incredible rapport this season without Mike Williams on the field after he suffered a season-ending injury.

Coming into Sunday’s matchup, Allen already has 102 receptions on the season, 1175 yards receiving, and seven touchdown catches. On top of that, he is their most explosive playmaker offensively, hauling in 18 catches this season for 20+ yards.

Broncos inside linebacker Alex Singleton highlighted the Chargers’ pair’s dynamic ahead of Sunday’s game.

“10 and 13,” Singleton said about the Chargers biggest threats offensively on Wednesday. “I think Justin Herbert has one of the best arms in the league, and 13 [Keenan Allen] leads the league in every receiving statistic. Eliminate them from the game and then see what happens.”

Broncos safety Justin Simmons described Allen’s ability as similar to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce with how he can manipulate defenses, whether it’s against zone or man coverage.

“He’s very Kelce-esque,” Simmons said on Wednesday. “Not comparing them by any means, I just mean he’s so knowledgeable on defensive formations and the tendencies and what we’re looking to execute on plays. He’s really good at finding the zones, beating man coverage, and Justin [Herbert] does a good job of finding him, knowing where the pressure is coming from or if we’re laying back in a zone, they’re both really in tune. That’s why I was alluding to the Kelce thing.”

Patrick Surtain will likely see some time on Allen in Sunday’s game, but with how often the Chargers move him around the field offensively, Surtain won’t see him on every single snap.

“It’s going to be of the utmost importance for us to be able to, in some ways, sever that connection throughout the game,” Simmons said. “Just make it difficult, change up looks, whatever the case may be, we’re just going to have to make it difficult on them. They’ve been playing extremely well and he’s a heckuva player, so it’s going to be a challenge.”

Broncos head coach Sean Payton highlighted Allen’s impact and how he’s utilized within the Chargers offensive scheme.

“It’s probably a combination of that and a number of things,” Payton said on Wednesday. “He’s consistently been extremely productive. [Offensive Coordinator] Joe Lombardi, who was the coordinator there for the past few years, talks about him. He’s smart, savvy and has good hands. You start checking these boxes, and then you put him with a quarterback. They go to him on third down. The hit chart shows up everywhere if you just look at his dots. He’s outside, and he’s inside. He’s certainly going to test your zone coverages. He’s a special player. I think with the injury to [Chargers WR Mike] Williams and a few other things, all of a sudden, those targets may have gone up even a little bit more because of some of the depth challenges. It’s impressive to watch.”

Broncos practice report and injury status updates from Wednesday

One positive note coming out of Wednesday’s practice was that the Broncos didn’t have a single player miss the afternoon with any injuries. On the other hand, Denver had several key players limited on the injury report.

Limited participants:

  • Offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey – back.
  • Cornerback Patrick Surtain – knee.
  • Defensive end Zach Allen – elbow.
  • Wide receiver Marvin Mims – ribs.
  • Safety Delarrin Turner-Yell – back.

Surtain hyperextended his knee in the Broncos loss to the Texans on Sunday and missed eight snaps, but came back in and finished the game. Denver is likely taking the precautionary route with him ahead of Sunday’s game vs. the Chargers. Mims took a shot to the ribs in Sunday’s loss, but came back in and finished the game, he should be good to go this week.

Everybody else on the report will more than likely be good to go this week, though we’ll keep monitoring to see if they upgrade from limited to full participants on Thursday.

Full participants:

  • Outside linebacker Baron Browning – wrist.
  • Running back Samaje Perine – knee.

In other roster related news, the New Orleans Saints picked up Broncos practice squad defensive tackle PJ Mustipher. Taking his place on the Broncos practice squad was outside linebacker Durell Nchami, who will wear number 53.

Nchami is a rookie from the University of Maryland. He appeared in 33 games from 2018-2022 and had 49 tackles, nine sacks, one pass defensed, and four forced fumbles. He started in 11-of-13 games his senior season and finished with three sacks, six tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble.