OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Mario Haggan moved past Darrell Reid and Tim Crowder to take the starting left outside linebacker spot. ... Correll Buckhalter started the preseason opener at tailback after LaMont Jordan spent most of the week leading up to the game recovering from a leg injury. ... Eddie Royal was removed from the depth chart at kick and punt returner, a nod to his importance on offense. Alphonso Smith is Denver's primary kick returner. ... Although Jack Williams has held off Smith as the nickel cornerback, Smith was the one who replaced Champ Bailey at left cornerback with the starting defense against the 49ers. Bailey was the lone starter on defense removed before halftime.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nose tackle Chris Baker, an undrafted rookie, moved up from third team to second team in the week leading up to Denver's preseason opener, then made a huge impression during the game. Baker had a sack and another tackle for loss. The Broncos are thin on the defensive line, so Baker's development could be huge for the team. Baker, who is big and physical, went undrafted after being kicked out of Penn State for off-field issues. He finished his college career at Hampton.
--Before injuring his knee against San Francisco, RB Knowshon Moreno showed off a strong initial burst, gaining 9 yards on his first NFL run.
--LB Robert Ayers isn't with the starting defense in base packages but is coming in with the first team in all passing situations.
--TE Richard Quinn has shown he can be a factor in the passing game, despite not being targeted often in college.
--S David Bruton spent a few days with the first-team defense in Brian Dawkins' absence. He should be a primary contributor on all special teams.
--WR Kenny McKinley caught a 52-yard touchdown against San Francisco. He has also assumed a role as the second option on kickoff and punt returns.
INJURY REPORT: S Brian Dawkins has been out of practice since early in camp with a broken hand. He wasn't supposed to be out long -- his progress will bear watching because he was signed to the veteran leader of the defense. ... WR Brandon Marshall should return soon from a leg injury that knocked him out of camp since Aug. 2. ... RB Knowshon Moreno will miss a couple of weeks with a sprained MCL, suffered against San Francisco.
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