The Denver Broncos wrapped up their second to last practice that fans were allowed to attend for training camp on Wednesday. The Broncos’ offense continued to ascend as every offensive unit had successful showings during various team periods.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos offense effective on Day 16 of Broncos Camp

A lot of pressure rides on the shoulders of Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos as the regular season inches closer and closer. Wednesday’s practice in Dove Valley saw the offense generate effective production on the ground and through the air in the passing game.

Wilson had several big plays through the air on the day, connecting with players like Courtland Sutton, Jalen Virgil, Albert Okwuegbunam, and Adam Trautman.

In particular, Trautman hauled in the play of the day during the team’s red zone period, snagging a one-handed catch in the middle of two defenders for a touchdown. The play by Trautman capped off a red-hot day for the offense and Wilson.

During 7-on-7, Wilson connected with second-year wide receiver Jalen Virgil for a 49-yard gain down to the one-yard line. Without revealing details, the route concept and formation that Sean Payton used put the secondary in a tough position, allowing Virgil to creep behind the defense for a big gain.

Okwuegbunam had an impressive day offensively, hauling in a 30+ yard pass from Jarrett Stidham during a move-the-ball period. He also had two pancake blocks on outside linebacker Marcus Haynes that freed up Broncos running backs for positive yards.

Sutton hauled in a massive catch downfield for 30 yards, with Damarri Mathis tightly contesting him on a jump ball. He’d cap off practice with a goal-line touchdown reception against Delonte Hood.

Overall, the Broncos’ offense was crisp, with Wilson, Stidham, and DiNucci operating in Wednesday’s practice. Hopefully that can translate into Saturday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Joe Lombardi touches on Broncos offensive line protection

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi spoke to the media following Wednesday’s practice and shared his perspective on some of the Broncos’ protection issues on the offensive line and the evaluation process of players in practice.

In their preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Broncos offensive line surrendered a lot of pressure, leading to clean-path hits on Russell Wilson and Jarrett Stidham. Lombardi sounded confident that the issues from last week will be corrected.

“You go through practice, and you have a couple of weeks,” Lombardi said. “Guys are working on their technique. Sometimes we ask them to do things a little bit differently. I think it’s natural that the first time under live bullets, sometimes they revert. [It was] just some technique things, and guys went back to old ways of doing things. I think you’re best learning experience is when you do it wrong in a real situation. You can kind of reflect as a player and see how going back to the fundamentals that we’re working on are going to help them.”

While practice evaluation holds weight when determining how the roster formulates itself, how players perform in a game holds the most weight at the end of the day.

With Mike McGlinchey out of the lineup as he recovers from a knee sprain, the Broncos have mixed and matched Isaiah Prince, Cam Fleming, Quinn Bailey, and Alex Palczewski in for reps at right tackle.

“Every day there is an evaluation going on for these guys,” Lombardi said regarding giving reps to every position and player. “We’re rotating through. Sometimes, some guys you see in the second half are repping with the first team. Once you see a small sample size of something good, you want to see if they can sustain that through more reps.”

Other Denver Broncos news and notes

Several players who missed Tuesday’s practice returned to the field, plus the Broncos made a roster transaction at the running back position.

Denver Broncos injury report

Players who did not participate in Wednesday’s padded practice.

  • K’Waun Williams (not spotted)
  • P.J. Locke (not spotted)
  • Brandon Johnson (spotted wearing jersey only)
  • Mike McGlinchey (spotted wearing jersey only)
  • Tyler Badie (not dressed)
  • Justin Simmons (spotted)
  • Chris Manhertz (spotted wearing jersey only)

Other observations

  • Jalen Virgil continues to have an under-the-radar impressive training camp after he hauled in a 49-yard catch from Russell Wilson. His speed continues to be on display, and he fully embraces blocking on run plays.
  • Samaje Perine and Javonte Williams both had some springy run plays inside of the team period today.
  • Undrafted rookie free agent running back Jaleel McLaughlin continues to stack good performances each day where he breaks a big run. His ball-carrier vision and patience when hitting the hole has been impressive.
  • Josey Jewell and Frank Clark each would have accumulated a sack on Russell Wilson during today’s practice in a real game situation, both players executed their stunts on subsequent plays early on in practice.
  • Undrafted rookie free P.J. Mustipher came up with a sack on Jarrett Stidham one play after he and Luke Wattenberg got into a little scuffle.
  • Linebacker Justin Strnad has pieced together a strong training camp and continues to be a key special teams player with a larger role at linebacker behind Alex Singleton and Jewell.
  • The team waived/injured NT Forrest Merrill and signed veteran running back Dwayne Washington. Washington spent five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and played for four seasons under Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

The Denver Broncos will be back on the field for their final open practice to the public on Thursday.