Joint practices, like them or not, are in high demand across the National Football League right now.

Aqib Talib doesn’t mind them and Chris Harris Jr. doesn’t like them, but the Denver Broncos will take off for Santa Clara, Calif. Tuesday afternoon for two joint sessions with the San Francisco 49ers before the two teams take the field for the second preseason game on Saturday.

According to head coach Vance Joseph, the two practices in San Francisco won’t be much different than the practices the Broncos have done throughout training camp, it will just be split onto two fields. The first-year head coach has some straightforward goals in mind for this week: Stay healthy and put in good, professional work.

The main thing that Joseph, and many of the players are worried about, is boarding the plane back to Denver with the same number of healthy bodies as they had when they arrived. Jared Crick was the second defensive lineman to be carted off the field in two days on Monday with what Joseph believed to be back spasms. The Broncos can ill afford another training camp injury.

“That’s going to be a big deal,” Joseph said Monday about keeping his players healthy during the joint practices. “First of all, we’re going to be in pads only one day and then shells the next day. We don’t want any fights, we don’t want any nonsense and we want to just go play football. [49ers Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I talked about that last night, so that’s going to be emphasized to both football teams. We just want good work – no fighting, no pushing – just good, professional football work. That’s what we’re looking for.”

His players understand the importance of staying healthy at this point in the preseason.

“I know we’re going to compete, but the main thing is keeping both sides healthy, their team and especially our team,” wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said after Monday’s practice. “We had some people go down, so the main thing is going out and we’ll get some work done and try to get better.”

Talib, now in his 10th NFL season, knows that worrying about getting injured is a good way to get injured, so he’s going to make sure that he’s going into San Francisco at full speed.

“We’re going to go full speed,” Talib said on Monday. “It’s not going to be a half-speed practice. It’s almost like you’re getting three preseason games in one week. It’s definitely good work.”

Looking at their joint practices against San Francisco as three preseason games instead of two practices and a game isn’t something that just Talib is doing. A number of other players have the same mindset. Competing against another team always brings an element of mystery to the table.

“You don’t know what to expect,” Thomas said. “It’s just a totally different team, so you have to go out and give your best and they’re going to do the same thing. You don’t want to look bad on the field in front of your coaches.”

“Those for me – playing against anybody else and anytime you’re practicing against another team during training camp – it’s like a game for me,” nose tackle Domata Peko said on Monday. “I try to make the most of every opportunity and I try to put on tape my best abilities and stuff like that.”

The Broncos depart for Santa Clara on Tuesday, with the joint practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.