NFL teams often have a pretty good reason to sit their starters for the final preseason game.
Denver's right tackle Ryan Harris is out for Sunday’s opener because of an ankle injury he suffered Sept. 2 in the preseason finale at Minnesota. What a waste. Harris is one of Denver’s key offensive cogs. When he injured his toe last year in the seventh game, Denver’s offense was never the same.
Rookie Zane Beadles is expected to replace Harris. Denver is also expected to start rookie J.D. Walton at center and journeyman Stanley Daniels at left guard. Left tackle Ryan Clady is playing less than five months after tearing a tendon in his knee while playing pickup basketball. Clady had limited playing time in the preseason. The Broncos will miss Harris' stability on the line.
Meanwhile, Denver rookie receiver Demaryius Thomas is questionable with a foot injury but did practice all week. Running back Knowshon Moreno is probable after practicing all week with a hamstring injury. Moreno didn’t play in the preseason, but he is expected to play at Jacksonville.