ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—The Denver Broncos opening week depth chart offers only a two surprises and both come on defense. With the suspensions of Derek Wolfe (four games) and T.J. Ward (one game) to consider, the Broncos formulated their final 53-man roster yesterday.
Today, we have an official depth chart. On the defensive side of the ball, here's how the Week 1 depth chart shakes out.
Antonio Smith will step in for Wolfe, which is something of a suprise, because he's been terrible at stopping the run. If he's healthy, I can't help but think that Kenny Anunike would be the better option. Where Smith brings only pass rushing acumen, Anunike showed in the opening week of the preseason a complete skill-set.
Even so, the Broncos don't want to tempt fate, so they're going with the experienced veteran. I thought maybe Vance Walker would get the nod. Instead, he'll rotate in regularly, I'm sure, along with Anunike. They'll have to hold down the fort for four weeks.
David Bruton will step in for Ward next Sunday vs. the Baltimore Ravens. Bruton received a lot of snaps in 2014, whether it was spelling Ward, or playing with him in the Broncos 'big nickel' sub-package. With the way Bruton has performed of late, I don't doubt that he'll be able fill in for Ward for one game and get the job done.
As for the offense, there aren't any real surprises. But here's what the starting unit will look like next Sunday. Expect Emmanuel Sanders to start.
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