ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels set out to renovate his offensive line and rejuvenate his running backs corps this season.
An injury epidemic at Dove Valley has left both groups in a state of flux.
"Nobody is going to put the season on hold for us until we get ready to go," McDaniels said Tuesday. "We'll try to practice as much as we can with the group that's going to play on Sunday."When the Broncos open their season Sunday at Jacksonville, they could feature three players on the offensive line taking their first NFL snaps while blocking for a backfield of backups.
If right tackle Ryan Harris' sprained left ankle doesn't heal fast enough, the Broncos' starting offensive line looks like it will include first-year pro Stanley Daniels, who has been cut four times, at left guard and rookies J.D. Walton at center andZane Beadles at right tackle.
"Those are question marks to people outside the locker room, but not concerns for us," right guard Chris Kuper insisted. "We have confidence in everybody here."
Walton shrugged off the notion of having too many green guys getting their first taste of the NFL all at once. "You have to take your first snap sometime," he said.
Even the veteran O-line starters -- Kuper (ankle) and All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady (knee) -- spent much of camp in the trainer's room. Clady returned to action last week, less than six months after blowing out his left knee.