ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The preseason is back.
After the preseason schedule was cancelled in 2020 as the league introduced safety protocols to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broncos will play a three-game preseason slate to kick off the 2021 season. The preseason slate was initially announced Wednesday alongside the team's regular-season schedule.
Denver will open the preseason with road games against the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks before hosting the Los Angeles Rams to end the preseason.
The Broncos last played the Vikings in the preseason in 2018, while they faced the Seahawks and Rams in 2019.
The exact dates of the team's first two preseason games have not yet been announced. The Broncos will play the Vikings between Aug. 13-14, and they will compete against the Seahawks between Aug. 20-23.
Denver's game against the Rams will be on Aug. 28 at 7:05 p.m. MT and will be shown locally on 9NEWS/KTVD-20 in Denver.
The Broncos' preseason slate bears watching, as Denver is expected to hold a quarterback competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Most training camp competitions tend to last through at least the first couple of preseason games.
The preseason schedule was reduced to three games earlier this year when NFL owners voted to approve a 17-game regular-season schedule.
The reduction of the preseason slate means that Denver's longest-running preseason matchup will come to an end in 2021. The Broncos had ended the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals in 14 of the last 16 years, including each of the last five years in which there were preseason games.