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Connor McGovern to play in HOF Game; needs to see improvement snapping ball

Denver Broncos center Connor McGovern has had some issues with snapping the ball. He’ll play in the Hall of Fame Game and hopefully we’ll see some improvement there.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos will take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, but we won’t likely see many starters out there getting any playing time. One starter that may get some reps in the game is center Connor McGovern and the reason why is a bit of a concern.

He’s struggled snapping the ball all through Broncos training camp. The bad snaps looked like they were becoming a thing of the past on Monday, which prompted Head Coach Vic Fangio to note he had begun to clean that up some.

“Right now, practice,” Fangio said of McGovern’s snapping on Monday. “He may play a little bit on Thursday, but if you notice that the stadium practices the other day, that was his best day for that. Most of the snap is just we’ve had a bend in the gun. He was excellent the other day, which was good to see.”

The bad snaps reared their ugly head again, however, on Tuesday. Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweeted that McGovern would, indeed, play on Thursday, along with Garett Bolles and rookie Dalton Risner.

Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was asked about the issue. He stayed upbeat and stressed they are working on it.

“Connor has done a great job,” Scangarello said. “He has run the ship, he has been very good at managing the offense, and learning it, and being a leader in the huddle. He is playing at a very high level. It’s just one of those things where we have to work through the process. You can’t take anything for granted in the league, and it’s a little thing but it can be a big thing. We’ve got a lot of time to get from now to then and we’re working hard on it. Those guys are working hard on it and I know we’ll be successful.”

The good news is that McGovern is aware of how this issue is keeps happening. As a natural guard, he doesn’t quite have the muscle memory that a center has. That seems like something he’ll gain over time.

“My hips aren’t where they should be,” McGovern said. “I have to get my hips up. It’s something that’s not muscle memory yet. I know how to get my hips up. I just have to do it and make it muscle memory before Week 1.’’

It’s only been 11 practices, so he is likely well on his way on the muscle memory end of things. Having McGovern play in every preseason game might be a good idea too. The Broncos will need him to have a reliable snap, because he’s going to need to do it about 1,000 times in the regular season.