The Denver Broncos will kick off their season against the Seattle Seahawks in just four days on Monday Night Football.
The orange and blue continued to practice on Thursday at the UCHealth Training Center in preparation for their first game of the regular season.
Russell Wilson reflects on time with Seattle
Just days before his return to Seattle, Russell Wilson reflected on his time there with fond memories of his ten years with the Seahawks organization.
Contrary to the various national narratives spin of Wilson and his split with the Seahawks, Denver’s new quarterback is laser-focused on helping the Broncos win football games.
“First of all, my experience in Seattle was one of a kind,” Wilson said prior to Thursday’s practice. “10 years, I couldn’t imagine those years not being in my life and how special they were, how many games we won, how many amazing thrillers, the Super Bowl we won, and everything else. I’m going to think about all of those memories and everything else and the joy of that and gratitude.”
Wilson’s return to Seattle in Week 1 highlights one of the biggest storylines for the NFL this season.
Once the whistle blows on Monday, Wilson is focused on helping put the Broncos in the best position to succeed.
“We’ve got a football game to play,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to just get out there and play again. I love this game, I’m passionate about it. I’ve got a lot of great teammates and a lot of guys I’m super close with on the other side, it’ll be a great battle.”
Justin Simmons and Denver Broncos defense excited for challenge on Monday
As the Broncos take the field against the Seahawks on Monday, they’ll have to deal with two of the NFL’s biggest playmakers.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have challenged opposing defenses for the last several years, with Wilson delivering them the football.
With Wilson in Denver, that responsibility now shifts to Geno Smith who will get the start under center.
How much pressure do Metcalf and Lockett present to Denver defensively with their ability to stretch the field both vertically and across the middle?
“It puts a lot of pressure on the defense,” Simmons said on Thursday. “Obviously Seattle runs the ball really well, that helps set up their play-action pass, so we’ve got to be able to stop the run. DK and Lockett, they’re the best at running those two-man routes maybe on par with [Adam] Thielen and [Justin] Jefferson, but they do such a good job of finding ways to get open. We’ve seen that for so many years and everyone knows going in there, we’ve got to eliminate the big plays with DK and Lockett, but someway somehow they always find a way to squeeze a shot in.”
For Simmons and the Broncos secondary, communication presnap and during the game will be a key for them in order to limit the Seahawks’ chances at creating explosive opportunities.
“For us in the secondary a lot of communication,” Simmons said a huge key is for Denver defensively. “I talk about that week in and week out and you know it’s going to be on full display on Monday Night for us in order to execute.”
Denver Broncos Injury Report from Thursday
The Broncos released their first injury report of the season ahead of Monday’s matchup against the Seahawks.
Thursday's #DENvsSEA injury report:
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 8, 2022
Broncos outside linebacker Randy Gregory was limited to position-specific drills on Thursday with a shoulder/knee designation.
Wide receiver KJ Hamler was also listed as limited as he continues to make progress from last season’s knee and hip surgery.
Both players are expected to play on Monday, but Denver will continue to monitor their progress during Friday and Saturday’s practice.
Inside linebacker Josey Jewell was limited with a calf and offensive tackle Billy Turner was limited with a knee designation.
Jewell’s starting counterpart Jonas Griffith was a full participant as he’s made tremendous progress in his recovery from a dislocated elbow which he suffered in the Broncos first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett will provide game status updates after Saturday’s practice before the team travels to Seattle.