The Broncos head into their second preseason game Saturday in Seattle with several important questions still needing an answer, including who will be the team's starting quarterback.
Here's five things to watch Saturday in the Broncos' preseason game against the Seahawks:
Drew Lock vs Teddy Bridgewater Round 2
The quarterback battle continues this weekend in what might be the final test before coach Vic Fangio and the Broncos officially choose Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater as the starter. Fangio said this week he's "pretty damn close" to naming a starter, but that "more information is coming" referencing the Seahawks game.
Lock started last week against the Vikings, meaning Bridgewater will start this week. Being the new guy in the Broncos' quarterback room, Bridgewater has had an uphill battle learning the offense, but according to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Bridgewater had done nice job adjusting.
“Teddy and I had common background with scheme, but just getting used to things — cadence and how we function here," Shurmur said. "Every pro-organization is professional in their approach, but how you handle meetings and practice is a little bit different, and I think that's just getting to know the Broncos, our quarterback room, and how we function on offense.”
For Lock, who arguably outperformed Bridgewater last week in Minnesota, he just needs to continue his good play if he wants to be named the starter.
“He just needs to play well," Shurmur said. "We talk about the quarterback thing behind the scenes and in private all the time, and I think that's really kind of the topic. That's for coach to discuss with you publicly, but he just needs to play well and continue on the right path. We've seen the improvement. We've seen a young player — in my opinion — get better with an offseason and now a training camp.”
Courtland Sutton's possible return
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton could make his return to the field Saturday, after his season-ending ACL injury last season. Sutton has been full-go most of training camp and has expressed his desire to play in the preseason, but that will be up to the coaches and trainers.
“He's doing great," Shurmur said. "Again, he's on track to be ready to go, so we'll just see. I'm not here for any big reveal on how long guys are going to play — I'll let coach (Fangio) do that. He's much better at that than me. He's on track and we feel good about his progress.”
Broncos secondary vs Russell Wilson
The Broncos intend to play most if not all of their defensive starters Saturday, which means fans will likely get their first view of Denver's revamped secondary, which on paper, is considered one of the best in the league. And it looks like they may get to go up against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Seattle's Russell Wilson, who said on Wednesday he hopes to play against the Broncos.
“I’m always hoping to play,” Wilson said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s coach’s decision. I’m always ready to play, and obviously being in front of the 12s is always great so we’ll see what happens.”
Baron Browning's debut
Rookie linebacker Baron Browning could make his NFL debut this weekend, practicing for the first time this week after suffering a leg injury in rookie minicamp in May. Browning said Wednesday he's anxious to play, but is unsure if he will see the field. Fangio said Thursday Browning "can" play Saturday.
"He had a good week considering his lack of work and preparation for it," Fangio said. "He did good. The most important thing is he did good physically. He didn't feel any aftereffects. We probably could have started him a little earlier, started practicing him, but he did good. I was pleased with what he did."
Right tackle competition
The Broncos' starting offensive line appears to still be up in the air, with the right tackle battle between Bobby Massie and Calvin Anderson being "close" according to Fangio. The two have been splitting first team reps all of camp and will continue to do so Saturday against Seattle. While it's not as flashy as the quarterback competition, the right tackle battle has been one of the more intriguing storylines this fall.
"Yeah, it’s close. It's close," Fangio said. "(Anderson) and Massie will split those reps (Saturday)."