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Broncos have ruled out three players for first preseason game

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The Denver Broncos will not play three players and two others will be game-time decisions.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Vance Joseph on Thursday announced that safety Su’a Cravens, tight end Jeff Heuerman, and guard Menelik Watson will not play in the Denver Broncos first preseason game on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings.

He added that both inside linebacker Joseph Jones and cornerback Tramaine Brock would be game-time decisions.

“Right now we’ve got Su’a Cravens out,” Joseph said. “I would say [Jeff] Heuerman is out. Menelik Watson is out with a pec injury. I would say Joseph Jones is probably a game-time decision and so is Tramaine Brock.”

Both Cravens and Heuerman are close and will likely be back practicing next week, but Joseph saw no need to risk further delays by rushing them into a meaningless game. Watson’s injury is a little more recent and it is unknown how severe it is.

Against the Vikings, the first-team offense and defense are expected to play a max of two series. One of the more interesting things Joseph noted on Thursday was that tight end Jake Butt is going to be a part of those first two series.

“Yes, he’s playing,” Joseph said of Butt. “He’ll be with the first group probably for two series and maybe a little bit after, but not much more than that.”

Despite Heuerman being listed first on the depth chart, it has been Austin Traylor and Butt who have been getting all of the first-team reps.