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Broncos will practice with Vikings ahead of preseason game in Minnesota

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (93) takes part in drills during an NFL football training camp at the team’s headquarters Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — In a lot of ways, a shared practice can be more valuable than an exhibition game.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to see different schemes, both sides of the ball, you go against different players, you have to cover different players, pass rush against different lineman, the linemen pass-block different style guys,” head coach Vic Fangio said before the Broncos left for Minnesota to workout with the Vikings. “It’s tremendous work if everybody has the right attitude and the right mindset, and we do.”

For coaches, the ability to judge players in a different environment is invaluable. For players, any change of face after two weeks of training camp is welcomed.

“Just us getting a chance to see some different competition,” Broncos safety Kareem Jackson said. “Seeing a different offense, seeing the different speeds, different receivers, tight ends, the O-lineman. I think all that stuff matters for us. I know it does for me.” 

The ability to see different schemes is important as the season looms closer. Especially for an offense that has struggled to find an identity in past seasons. 

“It’ll be good to go against somebody else,” tight end Noah Fant said. “We’re excited. I think the [Minnesota] Vikings are a good team, so it’ll be good to get a couple practices in with them and then play them in a preseason game.”

The Broncos will practice Wednesday and Thursday at Vikings headquarters in Eagan, Minnesota. Then play the first preseason game on Saturday. Fangio said Drew Lock will start at quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater will also see playing time.

“I have confidence in both of those guys,” Fangio said. “I really do.” He also said the quarterback competition is still wide open.

The Broncos list both Bridgewater and Lock as co-starters on their initial depth chart of the season.

“Ultimately the decision will be a total examination of everything from the start of training camp to the day we make the decision,” Fangio said. “Obviously, I think games, these practices we have coming up [will be important]. We had a really good practice the other day where it was upscale a little bit. They all factor in. There is no grading scale.”

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