OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Nate Webster leads Niko Koutouvides in the middle linebacker race. He started the first preseason game. But the two are still splitting time in practice, and the job hasn't been decided. ... Eddie Royal started Denver's first preseason game at the receiver spot opposite Brandon Marshall. Shanahan will give chances to rookies who practice well, and Royal could still be holding the spot when the regular season opens. ... At defensive tackle, Marcus Thomas moved up on the depth chart and supplanted Kenny Peterson with the first team. Thomas is a promising second-year player. ... Tony Scheffler is still running behind Nate Jackson in two TE sets, which the Broncos use often. Jackson and Daniel Graham have lined up with the first team throughout camp in multiple tight-end sets.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WR Eddie Royal -- Royal was expected to be a returner and learn the ropes as a slot receiver as a rookie. But Royal has made a big play just about every day during training camp. He has learned the offense quickly and works hard, which has impressed the coaches. He has shot up the depth chart and is currently a starter at receiver. Royal was the first rookie receiver in Broncos history to start the preseason opener.
ROOKIE REPORT: OT Ryan Clady has been very good in camp, but he struggled a bit against Texans DE Mario Williams on running plays. Clady should bounce back quickly. ... S Josh Barrett looks the part of an NFL safety with his size-speed combination. Barrett has made some big hits, and could be a key part of the special teams this year. ... LB Spencer Larsen moved to fullback before the Broncos' first preseason game because of injuries. But he also played linebacker in the preseason opener. His versatility could help him make the team. ... CB Jack Williams is stuck behind a lot of veteran cornerbacks, but he has played well in camp. He is a physical corner who can make a big hit.
INJURY REPORT: LB Boss Bailey has a badly sprained ankle and will be out at least a couple of weeks.
LB Louis Green suffered a concussion and neck injury and he will miss some time.
C Tom Nalen could return to practice sometime in the preseason, but his sore knee has been slow to heal. The Broncos still think he'll be ready for the regular season.
S Hamza Abdullah has a groin injury that caused him to miss a week of practice and the preseason opener. Abdullah, who broke into the starting lineup last year, could be set back by the missed practice time.
RB Ryan Torain will miss three months with a broken bone and ligament damage in his elbow.
CB Champ Bailey has a hamstring injury, but it isn't serious. The Broncos are not going to rush him back.
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