The Denver Broncos season has gone the complete opposite of what the team and fans have expected this season. Despite their struggles, the Broncos have experienced change throughout this season combined with growing pains.

Denver Broncos Wednesday practice report

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s the vibe right now surrounding the Denver Broncos who sit at 3-6 on the season, far removed from the high expectations that surrounded them in the offseason.

Throughout this season the Broncos have experienced change every single week regarding their process, personnel, and other decisions, but the reality has stayed the same. Denver’s offense is on pace for a historically bad season from a production standpoint and it doesn’t appear like it will change this season. Injuries on the offensive line could force the Broncos to have their eighth different starting lineup this season, same at wide receiver.

As the Broncos returned to the practice field on Wednesday at the UCHealth Training Center, they did so without several key players.

Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett announced on Wednesday that KJ Hamler will miss the next several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during practice last week. On top of that, Jerry Jeudy is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury but was not present during practice on Wednesday.

Denver was also without fullback Andrew Beck who suffered a hamstring injury last week during practice, defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike (illness), and cornerback K’Waun Williams who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss the next four weeks at least.

From a special teams perspective, the Broncos designated long-snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer to return from injured reserve, while simultaneously placing Mitchell Fraboni on IR as first reported by 9News’ Mike Klis, after he suffered a fractured finger in Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The offensive line has been battered with injuries all season long, but Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett is hopeful Tom Compton could make his season debut on Sunday when the team hosts the Las Vegas Raiders. Compton provides positional versatility by being able to help Denver at both guard and tackle spots if they need him to.

“We sure want him to,” Hackett said regarding Compton. “He’s a player that’s played a lot of games in this league. We need him. We need him for this team. This is going to be a big week for him to be able to take a big step forward.”

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson took the podium as well on Wednesday and acknowledged that he has to play better going forward.

“First of all, I have to play better,” Wilson said on Wednesday. “It starts with me. I have to find ways to make some more plays out there for us—more touchdowns. It’s something that you continue to work for every day. You focus on the little things—the fundamentals, the little things of the game. I’ve been down before; it doesn’t mean that we can’t come out on the other end of it all. What it takes is it takes a lot of work ethic, and it takes a lot of appreciation to continue to give everything you have every day. That’s not going to change, no matter our record was. I think we have a lot of football left, a lot of football left, a lot of football left. We have to play at the highest level, and we have to play at the highest level each day in practice.”

Wilson added his thoughts on rookie center Luke Wattenberg who stepped in last Sunday after Graham Glasgow went down with an injury. The Broncos’ rookie center could be in line to start on Sunday at the position if Glasgow is unable to go against the Raiders.

“Obviously, ‘Cush’ (C Lloyd Cushenberry) got most of the snaps in training camp and everything else,” Wilson said on Wednesday. “Then [G Graham] Glasgow has been in the league for so long and playing at such a high level. To see [C] Luke [Wattenberg] step in there, a guy [from the] University of Washington. He’s a guy that has played a lot of football, and I kept reminding him that in the game, even after the first little botched situation we had. The reality is you know how to do this. I have all the confidence in the world for him. This guy is so smart, he works his butt off every day. You couldn’t ask for a better rookie in terms of his preparation and how he prepares. That’s what you ask for. Not everything is going to be perfect.”

Earlier this week, the Broncos waived wide receiver and key special teams ace Tyrie Cleveland and signed WR Victor Bolden Jr. to the practice squad. Bolden Jr. made his Broncos practice debut on Wednesday and has some noticeable speed to him. With the injuries to Jeudy and Hamler, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him and fellow practice squad wide receiver Brandon Johnson elevated to the gameday roster against the Raiders.

The grind continues for the Broncos on Thursday with another practice at the UCHealth Training Center.

Cody Roark is Mile High Sports lead reporter covering the Denver Broncos — Cody covers every practice, every home and away game plus community events related to the organization. He also co-hosts The Afternoon Drive with Aniello Piro on Mile High Sports Radio and is the host of the Locked On Broncos podcast. You can follow Cody on Twitter and Instagram @CodyRoarkNFL.