The Denver Broncos take on the San Francisco 49ers this evening at 6:30 p.m. MT in their second preseason game ahead of the NFL regular season. Who are the key players to watch for in all three phases?

Denver Broncos players to watch for vs. San Francisco

While all eyes will be on Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos starting offense, there are various other players who should be on the radar of fans watching tonight.

Denver Broncos OT Garett Bolles looking for a better showing in second game back

Garett Bolles returned to the football field last week in the Broncos’ preseason opener after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 5 last year. Bolles suffered a broken leg that required it to be surgically repaired.

In Friday’s preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Bolles struggled in pass protection in his first game back. He surrendered a sack that impacted the Broncos’ offense from a potential scoring drive.

Bolles looked like he was still getting used to full-game-speed action outside of the sack he allowed. He was a full participant in practice all throughout the week, and all eyes will be on him this evening.

Broncos starters are expected to play around 20-25 snaps on offense and defense according to Sean Payton on Thursday.

The San Francisco 49ers may or may not play their starters, but even if they don’t, Broncos fans want to see an improved performance from Bolles in pass protection.

Keeping Russell Wilson upright is the main key for the offense this upcoming season.

Broncos second-year receiver in position to do more

Jalen Virgil has had a tremendous under-the-radar training camp. Earlier in the week, he hauled in various catches in practice, including a 49-yard downfield throw from Russell Wilson.

Last week, Virgil had an impressive end-around play that went for 25 yards. He was targeted three times in the passing game last week but didn’t haul in a reception.

Beyond the stat book, Virgil’s emergence as a potential key contributor on special teams is another factor to watch for. Toward the end of last year, Virgil engrained himself deeper on special teams as a gunner on the punt team.

His straight line speed makes him a valuable asset for special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica.

Against the 49ers, Virgil will have plenty of opportunities to make some plays in the downfield passing game for Denver’s offense, even potentially with the first-team unit.

If the offensive line can provide Wilson, Jarrett Stidham, and Ben DiNucci with ample time in the pocket, Virgil could be in line for a big game against the 49ers.

Marvin Mims set to make his debut for the Denver Broncos

After missing last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals as a precautionary measure, Marvin Mims will make his NFL debut on Saturday.

The rookie speedster has slowly built his way back after dealing with two hamstring injuries this offseason. With Brandon Johnson’s ankle injury, Mims has gathered momentum by getting more familiar with Russell Wilson and the other quarterbacks on the roster.

Not only will Mims get some run on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s also a factor in the kick and punt return game. He and Montrell Washington are both competing for the starting return job this upcoming season.

It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be on a pitch count, considering he’s recently removed from being on an injury maintenance plan.

He’ll likely get reps with the first and second-team offensive units tonight.

Delarrin Turner-Yell looking to showcase he can be impactful for Broncos defense

Injuries have ravaged the Denver Broncos safety room the past few weeks. Coming into training camp, the safety position was one of the team’s deepest rooms.

Justin Simmons is dealing with a groin injury, P.J. Locke was carted off with a foot injury last week, and Caden Sterns has been going through a maintenance plan. Delarrin Turner-Yell is in a prime position to show that he can have an impact inside the room.

Last week against the Cardinals, Turner-Yell finished the game with two total tackles, but he stood out with his pursuit to the football. Anybody can look at box scores to draw conclusions, but Turner-Yell is a high-effort player on defense and special teams and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

It’s unclear whether or not Sterns will play in Saturday’s game. If he doesn’t, Turner-Yell will likely start opposite Kareem Jackson, which warrants him as a young player to watch for.

Can Brett Maher prove he can be the Broncos kicker?

The Denver Broncos kicking game was one of the main concerns Broncos fans voiced their opinion on following last week’s preseason loss.

Between Elliott Fry and Brett Maher, the kicking duo combined 1-of-4 on field goals made. Fry nailed one from 55 yards but missed one from a shorter difference earlier in the game.

Maher missed both attempts, with one of his kicks getting blocked. Both players made each of their extra point attempts.

Earlier in the week, the Broncos designated Elliott Fry as waived/injured, making Maher the only kicker on the roster.

He’ll lead kickoffs and get every attempt in tonight’s game against the 49ers. Maher had an efficient week at practice in the kicking game, nailing a 59-yard field goal and a 52-yard field goal during the team’s move-the-ball period in Tuesday’s practice.

If he has a good showing in Saturday’s game, it could provide Broncos fans with some relief. However, if Maher misses makeable kicks, the team could look to add another kicker to the roster next week.

The Denver Broncos kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers at 6:30 p.m. MT locally on 9News.