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2020 Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 11 news and notes

Day 11 news and notes from Broncos camp.

Denver Broncos Training Camp Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Day 11 of Broncos Camp is now in the books and we’re nearing closer to the start of the regular season shockingly enough. Today, the Broncos returned to practice after canceling yesterday’s practice in a protest against the continuing racial injustice in this country. Today, we have Lloyd Cushenberry locking down the starting center job? Demar Dotson getting first-team reps, A.J. Bouye proving to be a ball hawk, injury updates, quotes, and more.

Lloyd Cushenberry taking all of the first-team reps again

In what is becoming the norm during the Broncos training camp practices, the teams third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry once again started and ended the day as the teams starting center.

It appears the rook has ran away with the job after Austin Schlottman and Patrick Morris split time there in early in camp. This was expected from the beginning of camp as Cushenberry was widely thought of a top-50 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft but then slipped into the third-round where the Broncos selected him.

His intelligence has been praised by coaches and he has held his own by all accounts against the likes of Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey and Shelby Harris. So, it appears the Broncos have themselves a good one here.

I think we can safely say that Cushenberry has a firm grip on the starting job by going off Head Coach Vic Fangio’s comments after practice. He told reporters that he would like to have all his starters figured out by the beginning of the week one practices which is a little over a week away.

“In the normal training camp, I’d say by the third preseason game. In this training camp I think we need to by the week of the first game when we start practicing. We’ll look for it to happen before then, but if it’s not we’ll keep letting it play out.”

Tomorrow’s stadium scrimmage where the team will try to mimic gameday as much as possible should be a good sign of where this competition stands. If Cushenberry spends the entire day with the first-team again, he’s your starter.

Demar Dotson gets first-team reps but it’s Elijah Wilkinson’s job to lose

It finally happened. The veteran right tackle Demar Dotson who many penciled in as the starting right tackle received his first first-team reps of Training Camp today.

Dotson has spent the vast majority of camp with the third-team offense so today’s promotion to the first-team should have been the story of camp. However, Head Coach Vic Fangio’s threw some cold water on these hot takes during his presser with the media.

When meeting with the media, Head Coach Vic Fangio essentially told reporters that the right tackle job is Elijah Wilkinson’s job to lose in these final practices of camp.

“He does, but it’s up to [G/T] Elijah [Wilkinson] to lose it too. As long as Elijah is playing the way we think he’s capable of playing, he’ll be the right tackle. If he’s struggling, then we have Demar there to replace him with.”

The quote does leave the door open for Dotson to get the job prior to week one, but it sounds like they would rather have Wilkinson earn the job instead of just giving it to the veteran.

Unfortunately for Wilkinson, he lines up against Von Miller for most of practice where Miller and even Malik Reed when Von sat out practice was beating him constantly according to reports. So I don’t know if this job is settled, but it sounds like Wilkinson has the job...for now.

A.J. Bouye proving to be a ball-hawking corner

Replacing cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was a priority this offseason and the Broncos hoped to accomplish this by acquiring veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye to be their number one corner this upcoming season and so far so good for both parties.

Bouye showed out today, and has all of camp reportedly, by first intercepting a Drew Lock pass in his first attempt in team drills today and breaking up a pass against Courtland Sutton in the red zone as well.

His interceptions has become routing during camp thus far and Head Coach Vic Fangio praised his instincts as a reason for all these interceptions.

“He’s got good instincts. When you couple instincts with experience, you have a chance to be around the ball more often. He’s dove himself into learning our system, all the fine points that could help with corner. He’s picking them up quickly. He’s a good addition. We’re really happy to have him both as a player and a person. Looking forward to him.”

With Bryce Callahan looking healthy, the Broncos have an improved secondary but still need to figure out the rest of the unit in the final practices of camp.

Injury Report

  • Nose tackle Mike Purcell returned to practice
  • Cornerback De’Vante Bausby returned to practice
  • Wide receiver Tim Patrick returned to practice
  • Outside linebacker Malik Carney returned to practice
  • Rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler remained sidelined with a hamstring injury
  • Inside linebacker Todd Davis remained sidelined with a calf injury but will return sooner rather than later according to Head Coach Vic Fangio
  • Safety Alijah Holder remained sidelined with a soft tissue injury
  • Wide receiver Juwaan Winfree remained sidelined with a groin injury
  • Rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia remained sidelined with a quad injury

Tweets from Camp

Quotables

Head Coach Vic Fangio on tomorrow’s practice at Mile High Stadium

“We’re going to try and make it as game-like as we can. We’re going to come out and go through pregame warmups just like we would on a pregame for a real game. We’re going to time it out just like we would for a real game. We’re going to go in after pregame warmups. We’re going to come out at the same time we kind of would for a real game. We’re going to have a kickoff. We’re going to put the ball at different places on the field to start series and drives. We’re going to incorporate kicks in there, whether it be a PAT, a field goal or a punt. Then we’re actually at some point, we’re going to go in like a halftime. There’s going to be a 10-minute delay. We’re not going to go the full 12. We’ll be in there for 10 minutes, come back out, let them get loose like they would have to in a real game, kick if off for the second half and repeat that same sequence. Put the ball in different spots to try and hit all the situations. I’ll control the down and distance a lot just to try and make sure we hit some situations that way. We’re going to try and make it as game-like as we can.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio On how valuable tomorrow’s stadium practice is because they did not have the preseason games

“I think it’s valuable from a lot of different small areas. One, we have guys that have never been in that stadium. That’s going to be good for them. Even the guys that have been in the stadium, it’s always good to go back down there and be in your stadium. It’s good to intermix the kicking game plays as they would happen in a game. We do that during practice in the season with field goals, but we’re going to try and do it with everybody. The substitution process with guys getting in and out will be good to practice. We’re going to have—I’m not sure what the crowd noise rules are. I’m hearing different things, but whatever they are, we’re going to have the crowd noise in there that I think you’re going to be allowed to use for stadiums that have no fans. Obviously, we’re doing it so our offense will experience it in the stadiums that we’re playing in with no fans. Then the defense will be able to experience the noise we’ll use at home games. There’re a lot of little crumbs that I think make it worthwhile. After it, if we feel we need to go down there and do it again to some degree before Tennessee, we’ll do it again.”