*ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — *At least a few of the Broncos’ starters will appear in Thursday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame game.
Left tackle Garett Bolles, left guard Dalton Risner and center Connor McGovern will “play a few plays,” Head Coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday.
“Dalton’s the kind of guy that likes to play and it will be good to get his feet wet,” Fangio said.
Bolles, meanwhile, will take snaps after a “great” start to training camp.
“Right now, Garett’s the starter,” Fangio said. “He’s the incumbent. Somebody’s got to knock him out, kind of like a heavyweight championship. So far he’s had a great camp. If we were to play today against Oakland, he’d be the starter, hands down. Unanimous decision.”
Right guard Ron Leary and tackle Ja’Wuan James will not play. Leary (Achilles) sat out Tuesday’s practice, while James (lower-leg bruise) appeared limited.
Fangio said Jake Butt (knee), Bug Howard (ankle), Bryce Callahan (foot) and DaeSean Hamilton (hamstring) will also not play in Thursday’s game. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco is also not scheduled to play.
THE FIRST TEST
At times on Thursday, Fangio may purposefully call plays that put certain players in difficult situations.
“For instance, if I’m pretty confident they might be throwing it, instead of maybe giving a corner some help, I might see if he can cover his guy,” Fangio said. “[Or] play a light box even when we think they might be running it [and] see if we can handle the run in a light box. Things like that.”
That philosophy extends to the offense, as well.
“Yeah, let’s see who can block a good pass rusher without chipping them,” Fangio said. “Even though they’ve got the box loaded, let’s see if we can run the ball up in there.”
FINDING HIS WAY
During nearly all of his 19 years as an NFL defensive coordinator, Fangio worked games from the coaching box.
As he begins his head-coaching career, Thursday’s game will serve as a way for him to test out coaching from the sideline.
“[I will] experiment with where the best place for me to stand is when we’re on defense,” Fangio said. “I’m going to try to get an end-zone view of it. I won’t be on the line of scrimmage starting off. I’m going to try to be back a little ways, one way or the other, so at least I’ve got somewhat of a wider view. We’ll see how that works.”
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell will also be on the sideline on Thursday, Fangio said.