It was a red letter day for ten (now former) members of the Denver Broncos as the team took the first steps in reducing its roster from 90 to 75 before the Sept. 1 deadline. Denver also placed tight end Jeff Heuerman on injured reserve and traded tackle Chris Clark to Houston for a draft pick, meaning three more cuts will come between Monday and Tuesday.

Head coach Gary Kubiak used Monday’s practice to continue his evaluations, but says the real hard work will come following Thursday’s final preseason game when rosters must go from 75 to the final 53.

Following practice on Monday, Kubiak spoke with the media, offering among his comments these statements about the difficult task of ending some players’ NFL dreams…

Gary Kubiak: “It’s a tough day because you spend all offseason with these guys. You’ve got 90 guys. You go through OTAs, you go through camp and they bust their tail for you. Today we made 12. It’s very difficult. I told them last week, I didn’t think we had a guy in our locker room before the game that couldn’t play in this league. Sometimes you just have to keep battling and those guys will. It’s a tough day from that standpoint.”

Kubiak: “We just have a couple other decisions that we’ve got to make. (We) wanted to work today and take a look at a couple of different things. It also has a lot to do with how you play the game on Thursday and how you get to Thursday with your guys. We’ve still got some decisions to make on that.”

Kubiak: “I don’t know (if we’ll keep three quarterbacks on the roster). We’ll see. We’ll see how things pan out. We’ve got a lot of decisions to make and plan on playing a lot of young guys, and let them try to make those decisions for us on the field.”

Additionally, Kubiak made specific comments about a handful of players who entered camp as question marks, but appear to have solidified roster spots.

Kubiak: “We’re shooting for opening day (for Kenny Anunike’s return). He’s doing really well. He got the stitches (removed). I think he got those out either yesterday or the day before. He’s doing well. You guys saw, I think you all saw, Lerentee’s (McCray) back today. I don’t know if you guys saw that, but he’s back to work, so that’s a good sign heading the right way.”

Kubiak: “I think it says that we have some confidence in a young player that we drafted (in 2015 seventh-round draft pick Trevor Siemian). Also, with cuts, whether they’re this week or Friday, you do all your cuts within a four or five-day period now in this league. I think it’s probably a better opportunity for Zac (Dysert) to get out there this week than knock him out there at the last minute. Zac’s a good player. He can play in this league, but obviously we just felt like we’re going to give our young guy a chance.”

Kubiak: “(Jordan Norwood)’s had a really good camp. He’s played very well. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in him as a player. I know Peyton has a lot of confidence in him. So yes, he’s playing well.”