Ahead of Sunday’s AFC West divisional showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Denver Broncos have elevated two skill player positions to help them in Sunday’s game. Could one elevation, in particular, indicate that the Broncos believe they’ll be without Samaje Perine on Sunday?

Denver Broncos elevate TE Lucas Krull and RB Tyler Badie vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Denver Broncos have elevated tight end Lucas Krull and running back Tyler Badie for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. With kickoff slated for 2:25 p.m. MT, the Broncos could be without Samaje Perine, who has been a key part of Denver’s offense at the running back position.

With Perine missing Friday’s practice, his official status for Sunday’s game is questionable but Saturday’s roster elevation could indicate that he may not be ready to go.

Badie’s elevation is an insurance policy for the Broncos offense in the event Perine is unable to go, but it’s certainly worth monitoring considering that Denver already has Dwayne Washington on the active roster who is also a running back.

Washington plays a crucial role as a core-four specialist for all of Denver’s key special teams units, which means that head coach Sean Payton likely sees more value for him to contribute there versus removing him from special teams and playing him on offense.

On the other hand, the Broncos can’t afford to go into Sunday’s game and give every carry to Javonte Williams for the sake of reducing wear and tear. Rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin will see plenty of snaps on Sunday, but Badie gives Denver insurance as a big body, versatile running back who can contribute in the receiving game.

As a matter of fact, Badie’s first NFL touch came against the Los Angeles Chargers last season in Week 18, seeing him haul in a pass from Russell Wilson and march untouched into the endzone for a touchdown. Badie’s been a member of Denver’s practice squad all season long and is well in tune with the playbook.

Krull will see his third elevation of the season and his second consecutive elevation in a row. He was activated against the Buffalo Bills and last Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Denver will either have to sign him to the active roster after this week, or else they’ll have to waive him, and sign him if he clears waivers in order to bring him back to the practice squad.

If he has an impact in Denver’s receiving game on Sunday, he’ll make a strong case for himself to receive a spot on the active roster as a true legitimate receiving threat at the tight end position.