ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --With two vigorous practices with the San Francisco 49ers on the docket for Wednesday and Thursday, the Broncos throttled back the pace, working in shorts with no shoulder pads for two hours Tuesday morning before boarding a plane for the San Francisco Bay Area.
... WR Kalif Raymond continues to deliver solid work. Early in practice, he broke open for a touchdown catch from Trevor Siemian down the seam in a seven-on-seven period. Later in practice, Raymond grabbed another pass from Siemian to move the chains on a third-down play near midfield.
Raymond has caught plenty of key passes in the last three practices after accounting for the Broncos' longest kickoff return (41 yards), punt return (34 yards) and second-longest reception (24) yards in their 24-17 win over Chicago last Thursday.
"He made the three biggest plays, in my opinion, on offense [and special teams]," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "He is an impressive person. He is always engaged. He's very fast. He's a tough-minded guy. I've been impressed with him."
... The Broncos focused on having the offense attempt to advance the football from its 1-yard line during one period. In the battle of the first teams, the defense forced a three-and-out, holding the offense to four yards on two runs before Talib got his hands on a third-down Siemian attempt, nearly intercepting the pass.
The No. 2 offense moved the chains thanks to a third-down conversion that saw Lynch hit Raymond after rolling to the right, finding the second-year receiver near the right sideline.
Kyle Sloter and the No. 3 offense also got a first down from deep in their territory as he found TE Steven Scheu down the left seam past three defenders for a 30-yard connection on third-and-6.
... The first-team defense intercepted a pair of Paxton Lynch passes during one team period. On the first, Chris Harris Jr. stepped in front of a pass in the right flat after Lynch rolled to the right. On the second, OLB Kasim Edebali emerged from a crowd of players with a pass.
... DE Jared Crick did not practice and will not make the trip to the San Francisco after succumbing to back spasms during Monday's practice. He will remain in Denver and receive treatment at UCHealth Training Center.
"He's been tight for a couple of days and he's spasming pretty bad," Joseph said. "He's day to day."
... Allen Barbre and Max Garcia split first-team repetitions at left guard for the third consecutive practice.
... WR Cody Latimer did not practice Tuesday because of a sore knee, but will travel with the team to Santa Clara, Calif. and is expected to practice.
... OLB DeMarcus Walker missed practice with a sore hip flexor, but is expected to return to practice against the 49ers.
"We're being smart about it," Joseph said.
... C Matt Paradis has seen his practice repetitions increase as he completes his recovery from offseason hip surgeries, but he will not play in Saturday's game. Paradis is expected to play against Green Bay on Aug. 26.
... RB Jamaal Charles will also sit out Saturday's game and make his preseason debut against the Packers. He received a rest day Tuesday after seeing extensive work Monday, but will practice against the 49ers.
"That's been the plan the entire time -- let's get Jamaal as strong as he can be before we put him on the field," Joseph said. "He is ready to go. It's me holding Jamaal back. But he wants to go."
... CB Dontrell Nelson was limited to individual work without a helmet as he completes the league-mandated post-concussion protocol.
... ILB Todd Davis was limited to individual and seven-on-seven work as he recovers from a sprained shoulder.
... OLB Shane Ray (wrist), S T.J. Ward (hamstring), WR Carlos Henderson (thumb) and RB Bernard Pierce (hamstring) remained sidelined.
The Broncos' work Tuesday morning before heading to San Francisco ensured they would be sharp for the joint practice with the 49ers on Wednesday and Thursday. (photos by Ben Swanson)