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'These guys are a bunch of fighters': Vic Fangio confident in team as short-handed Broncos prepare for matchup with Chargers

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos will be without some of their top playmakers due to COVID-19 protocols on Sunday, but Head Coach Vic Fangio believes in the team he'll field against the Chargers.

"We did a walkthrough today — just got done with it — and our guys' attitude during the walkthrough was tremendous," Fangio said. "I thank them for that, I admire them for that, but I expected that. These guys are a bunch of fighters and competitors, and they're going to go out there and play — and play to win. We have a good group of guys from the intangible aspects, and we're going to go out there and play good."

The Broncos will be without a slew of starters in Los Angeles, as Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Bradley Chubb, Bryce Callahan, Bobby Massie and Baron Browning were all placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week. Key reserves or special teams contributors Caden Sterns, Mike Ford and Jonathon Cooper were also placed on the list. In all, the Broncos have 16 total players on the Reserve/COVID-19 and Practice Squad/COVID-19 lists.

Nose tackle Mike Purcell is among those players, but Head Coach Vic Fangio said he's hopeful Purcell can return for Sunday's game.

Despite the missing pieces, Fangio said he expects others to step up in their place.

"I'm very confident and bullish on the guys that are going to be playing for us," Fangio said. "We've got some great opportunities for some guys that have been showing good on the practice field, like Seth Williams, [who] obviously will play in there more. Just like Jonas Griffith was playing good on the practice field and when he got his opportunity, he didn't disappoint and played well and took advantage of it. There's going to be some more of those available on Sunday for guys that are going to get their chances to play, and I'm confident in them."

Fangio said the Broncos' game plan would need to change to some degree, but he noted that the team would not be "recreating the wheel here."

"We've just got to adjust some of the plays offensively to fit our personnel, both from a talent standpoint and a knowledge standpoint," Fangio said. "And the same thing will happen defensively."

Fangio said postponing the game hasn't been brought up to him, and he said he's "zeroed in" on playing the game on Sunday, as scheduled.

And despite the challenges the Broncos will face with a limited roster, Fangio is only focused on earning another division win.

"They don't draw pictures, so we're going to play a game on Sunday, we're going to be expected to win, and we're going to go out there and give it all of our efforts to go get that W," Fangio said. "It's a no-excuse league, and we're certainly not going to use any."

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