Moss status up in the air

The way former first-round pick Jarvis Moss' season is going, it's fair to wonder how much he'll contribute this season.

Moss, a defensive end, has been inactive for both games thus far. Part of that has to do with matchups. Denver knew Oakland was going to run the ball often in the opener, and San Diego has a strong running game as well. Moss is 245 pounds and is strictly a pass rusher at this point.

However, no player is drafted in the first round to sit against unfavorable matchups. Moss was also inactive for his last game last season before he suffered a broken fibula in practice. He was ineffective in a situational role as a rookie before he was benched.

Last week, Moss was told that the coaches would evaluate the defensive linemen during the week in practice before deciding who would be active for the San Diego game.

"We're just trying to get the best guys on the field," defensive coordinator Bob Slowik said. "Whether you're a one pick, two pick, three pick, not picked, if you're not the best you're not going to be out there."

Moss could come back to the lineup this week. Denver plays against New Orleans, who will likely rely heavily on the pass. Also, the Broncos' pass rush has not been very effective so far this season.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Jay Cutler has a chance to compete for the league's MVP award this year. It's early, but all indications are the Broncos will throw the ball often this season. They are relying heavily on spread formations and giving their third-year quarterback plenty of opportunities. Cutler has 650 yards in two games.

--RB Selvin Young is still the starter, but it will be tough for him to post great numbers this season. A combination of the Broncos' reliance on the passing game and a three-headed approach at tailback means that Young isn't a lock to get double-digit carries every week. He hasn't had more than 10 carries in either Broncos game this year.

--RB Andre Hall has run well but not well enough to get the starting spot from Selvin Young. Hall will continue to get a good amount of playing time as the second tailback, but Young is the starter and Michael Pittman is the goal-line back.

--WR Brandon Marshall averaged less than 10 yards per catch, which was forgivable considering he caught a staggering 18 passes. That won't be the case all season. Marshall was a decent deep threat last season and he worked hard at that part of his game in the offseason. He will get chances at some long balls when the matchups are right.

--WR Eddie Royal caught five passes for 37 yards against San Diego, even though Denver passed 50 times. Royal might not duplicate his nine-catch, 146-yard stat line from the opener, but will still see a decent number of balls thrown his way.

--TE Tony Scheffler caught six passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns against San Diego. He has a great skill set, and should be used often by the Broncos in the passing game this season after spending most of August and the first week behind Nate Jackson.

--K Matt Prater made all five extra points and a field goal against San Diego. He has been solid since the start of training camp for Denver.

--S Marquand Manuel has been coming off the field in passing situations. Part of that is he has a broken thumb and has been playing with a cast. He has been a big reason Denver has been better against the run. Manuel often plays in the box.

--DE Elvis Dumervil hasn't recorded a sack yet. He has a couple of pressures, but until he is healthy from a broken pinkie, he might not post huge sack numbers. He has admitted his moves are limited without the full use of both hands. He expects to have his cast off in three-to-four weeks.

--LB Jamie Winborn has played well for the Broncos when he has gotten the opportunity, but will once again go back to the bench because Boss Bailey is healthy. However, Winborn provides a solid backup at both outside positions.



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