ENGLEWOOD, CO — The Denver Broncos put their final touches on their game preparation for Sunday’s showdown between them and the New York Jets. Who are some key players to watch for on Sunday, and what’s the latest on players returning from injury?

Denver Broncos key players to watch vs. New York Jets

Sunday’s game against the New York Jets is big for several players on the Denver Broncos who could be in line for impact performances. Which players on offense and defense will be paramount to utilize on Sunday afternoon?

Broncos offensive players to watch for vs. Jets

The Broncos offense hasn’t been the reason the team is sitting at 1-3 heading into Week 5, but they’ve been a reason why the team has had a shot to win in every game, minus Miami.

Marvin Mims:
Marvin Mims is going to headline our key players to watch as he continues to find ways to create explosive plays on offense and on special teams.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup, Mims hasn’t seen a lot of snaps or opportunity on offense, but when he’s been on the field, he’s emerged into what many defensive play-callers will signal as the most dangerous threat to get behind them.

Through five weeks of action, Mims has nine receptions on 11 total targets for 242 yards and a touchdown. In one game against the Washington Commanders, he had two catches for 113 yards.

He saw 15 snaps against the Miami Dolphins in a game where he hauled in three catches for 73 yards and a 99-yard kick return touchdown. Against the Chicago Bears, Mims hauled in a clutch 48-yard reception in the fourth quarter that helped set up a game-winning field goal from Wil Lutz.

He also had a 30+ yard punt return last Sunday.

Mims has demonstrated early on that he can be an explosive producer in Sean Payton’s offense. It’s unclear how many snaps he’ll receive on Sunday, but until proven otherwise, he’s in line to make an impact play in each game due to his speed, presence, and good ball instincts.

Jerry Jeudy:
Broncos fans are waiting for an explosive game from Jerry Jeudy, but with how the offense has been designed, any week could be the week because of their balance with various receivers.

Jeudy had a big game last season against the New York Jets, hauling in passes from Brett Rypien. Russell Wilson will be under center in Sunday’s game against New York.

One area where Jeudy attacked the Jets’ defense was in the middle of the field on dig routes and deep overs. How Sean Payton plans to utilize him this week will be an interesting key to watch for.

With Jets cornerback D.J. Reed currently going through concussion protocol, there’s a chance he misses Sunday’s game, which opens up opportunities for Jeudy and other receivers, while Sauce Gardner will likely cover Courtland Sutton.

Javonte Williams/Samaje Perine/Jaleel McLaughlin:
The Denver Broncos offense has a great opportunity to establish a true ‘running back by committee’ approach this season. Javonte Williams has been a powerful runner this season in limited action, while Samaje Perine compliments his play style.

Both backs are strong in pass protection, but undrafted rookie free agent Jaleel McLaughlin is a joker in the deck for Sean Payton and his offense.

The Denver Broncos undrafted rookie free agent running back has emerged as a fan favorite dating back to the NFL Preseason. Could he be in line for more opportunities on Sunday?

With Javonte Williams officially listed as questionable against the Jets, there is still room for McLaughlin to get more run on Sunday.

After his impressive seven carries, 72-yard performance on the ground, and touchdown catch and run in the passing game, the undrafted rookie free agent has earned more opportunities to help the Broncos offense as an explosive play creator.

His ball-carrier vision, patience, and explosiveness make him too much of a dynamic player to not get run against a Jets defense that has allowed over 148 yards per game to opposing rushers.

All McLaughlin needs is to find a small crease, and he’s proven he can do the rest. Hopefully, Payton and his staff have plans to involve him even further.

Broncos defensive players to watch vs. Jets

Denver’s defense needs to find a way to bounce back from the rough start they’ve had so far this season. With the defense set to get several of their top players back against the Jets, which players should Broncos fans keep their eyes on during Sunday’s game?

Justin Simmons:
The Broncos All-Pro safety is set to make his return after missing the last two games with a hip/groin injury, something that’s been impacting him since training camp.

Denver’s secondary has allowed some explosive plays in the middle of the field in the last two weeks, but Simmons return should help alleviate that issue against a New York Jets offense that looks to involve Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, C.J. Uzomah, and others vertically and across the middle of the field.

Simmons’ return should also allow Denver to play more man coverage, which Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said they transitioned to more of during the second half in the team’s win against the Chicago Bears.

Josey Jewell:
After missing the Bears game last week, all signs point to Josey Jewell returning to the starting lineup on Sunday against the Jets.

Over the last two weeks, the Broncos have allowed over 521 rushing yards to opposing offenses. Jewell left Week 3’s game in the first quarter with a groin injury that held him out for the entirety of the game and last week.

His return should provide Denver a boost against a rushing offense in New York that features Breece Hall, who is no longer on a pitch count, Dalvin Cook, and Michael Carter.

If Denver can find their footing in stopping the Jets’ rushing attack, it increases their chances of the defense finding their footing after a historically bad start.

Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper:
After a 3.5-sack combined performance last Sunday, the Broncos starting duo of Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper can take the next step against the New York Jets.

The Jets’ offense through four weeks of play have allowed 11 sacks this season (24th) which ties the Broncos offense in sacks allowed.

They’ll be crucial against the Jets rushing attack and must maintain edge discipline this week, especially with Zach Wilson’s ability to escape and use his legs to extend plays.

Somebody on the Broncos defensive line:
The Broncos have struggled consistently this season to generate push or penetration from the interior of the defensive line. Off-season acquisition Zach Allen hasn’t gotten off the start he has hoped for but has faced consistent double teams this year, and nobody else on the defensive line has been able to capitalize in their one-on-one matchups.

With Mike Purcell progressing toward a possible return on Sunday, he will be a player to watch for, specifically on the defensive interior if he plays.