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Broncos

Where the Broncos stand with opener closing in

It can be hard to believe with the NBA and NHL playoffs going on right now and the weather just recently leaving the 90s on a daily basis, but the Broncos season opener against Tennessee on Monday Night Football is less than two weeks away. With that in mind here’s a roundup of what’s going on the Broncos as of right now.

Conservative approach with Chubb

The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran wrote how the Broncos are being cautious with linebacker Bradley Chubb who is coming off ACL surgery. The team still expects him to be ready for the opener.

“We’re going to be conservative with him this week and get him some days of rest. I think he’s where we kind of thought he’d be. We never said (he’s) 100% yet — at least I never did. I think what he’s going through is a natural progression in recovering from his (ACL) injury and I’m still optimistic he’ll be out there the first week and playing good — probably not playing like he was pre-injury, but pretty (darn) close. It’s going to be a work in progress.”

Head coach Vic Fangio said.

No tackling in practice

With no preseason games this year the question going into training camp was how many “live” practices the Broncos would have before the regular season got underway. As it turns out the answer to that question likely will be zero.

So far the team has had one live period during a practice to work on goal-line situations. But Fangio’s plan going forward appears to be no tackling during practice.

“We may have a short-yardage/goal-line live period, but other than that, probably not.”

Fangio said when asked about having any live practices.

New Big Al in Denver?

Most Denverites are familiar with former CU and Broncos great Alfred Williams, known as Big Al, well, he might not be the only Big Al in Denver for long.

As The Post’s Kyle Newman wrote, rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam keeps turning heads in practice. Both quarterback Drew Lock and fellow tight end Nick Vannett both referred to him as a “monster” with Vannett also adding:

“He’s just so physically gifted. The thing with him is he’s kind of raw right now, but I don’t say that in a bad way. I say that like if he keeps building on it and keeps figuring it out, he’s going to be one of the best tight ends in the league. Just how fast he is, how built he is — I really do believe if he can figure it out, he’s going to be a scary dude in this league for years to come.”

Vannett said of Okwuegbunam.

Is the center job decided?

As TheDNVR.com’s Zac Stevens wrote it appears like the battle for Denver’s starting center position might already be decided. Rookie Lloyd Cushenberry has been getting the bulk of reps with the first team, while the other contenders for the job, Austin Schlottman and Pat Morris are getting fewer and fewer.

Starting left guard Dalton Risner had this to say about Cushenberry:

“I’m really impressed with Lloyd. I was telling the coaches today that I want to keep getting more reps with him, as many reps as we can and we have to get reps after practice. That’s what we need. We need to have an understanding of how each other makes certain blocks and what we mean by certain calls. That’s so big for an offensive line. It’s about meshing together and coming together as a unit. I think Lloyd’s done an extremely good job and the offensive line is continuing to jell more and more. He’s got a lot of work to do just like I do, but I’m really happy with where we’re at right now.”

Based on Risner’s comments in particular it definitely sounds like the job is Cushenberry’s at this point.

Overall camp overview

Meanwhile, fellow DNVR writer Andrew Mason took a look at everything going on at Broncos training camp and noted that simply put the Broncos have plenty to do, but so little time to get it all done.

Locked in on Lock

And lastly, Nick Kosmider at TheAthletic.com followed what starting quarterback Lock goes through at a training camp practice.

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Bats silent again as Rockies lose 2-1 in extras

Rockies

Antonio Senzatela pitched arguably the best game of his major league career, but Colorado’s bats were dormant once again as the Rockies lost to the Astros 2-1 in 11 innings Tuesday in Houston.

Senzatela went toe-to-toe with Zack Greinke as both pitchers threw eight shutout innings allowing three hits a piece, Greinke struck out seven, Senzatela six.

Colorado’s offense has became a major liability at this point and after losing seven of their past nine games the Rockies are now four games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. The Rockies pitching staff owns the second-best ERA in the National League, but as has been the case the past few years the offense continues to struggle.

For the most part the problem is pretty simple, if Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl aren’t hitting the rest of the team can’t pick up the slack. And this year with both Arenado and Dahl struggling for most of the season to date the offense can’t manage to get the job done.

There is a chance the Rockies could add top prospect Brendan Rodgers to the active roster soon.

My thoughts: At this point I would love to see Rodgers play second base and move Ryan McMahon to first and DH or sit Daniel Murphy. Either way the Rockies have to do something soon or else this season’s promising start will be a distant memory by the time September rolls around.

  • The Astros and Rockies square off again tonight (6:40 p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) in Game 3 of the four-game series. Ryan Castellani (0-0, 1.04 ERA) takes the mound for Colorado against Houston’s Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.90 ERA).

Avalanche

Coming of a dominating 7-1 win on Monday the Avalanche will look to finish off the Coyotes in Game 5 today (3:30 p.m., NBCSN, Altitude, 92.5 FM) in Edmonton.

Nazem Kadri has been a key piece for the Avs since the NHL started back up. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few weeks since his game-winning goal with 0.01 seconds remaining in the first game back against St. Louis.

Since then the Avs claimed the No. 2 seed in the West and have a 3-1 lead on Arizona, while St. Louis ended up the fourth seed and is currently tied 2-2 in its series with Vancouver. Oh what a difference a thousandth of a second can make.

  • Captain Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t scored a goal yet in Edmonton, but he’s confident he’ll get one soon. And in the meantime he’s creating plenty of scoring chances for the rest of his teammates.
  • Cale Makar said “it definitely means something to me” to see teammates like Nathan MacKinnon have his back after Makar was given a cheap shot near the end of Monday’s game.
  • Avalanche-Coyotes results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0Box score
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2Box score
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2Box score
Game 4Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Game 5Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Colorado wins best-of-seven series 4-1

Nuggets

Denver once again will be without Gary Harris and Will Barton when the Nuggets take on the Jazz today in Game 2 of their first-round series. Barton continues to deal with a knee injury and is out indefinitely.

As for the players who will be on the court for the Nuggets, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer wrote about how rookie Michael Porter Jr. got a crash course in what NBA playoff basketball is like in Game 1.

“In the playoffs, it’s all about defense. The defensive intensity is way up. So being locked in every possession and really realizing every possession matters (is important).”

Porter said about the Nuggets’ 135-125 OT win.

Despite appearing to struggle at times on both ends of the court Porter still finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes in his playoff debut. Not bad for someone playing it just the 56th NBA game of his career.

“Just being out there, learning, going through it, you can’t put a dollar sign on that. That’s the best teacher that Michael is going to have. We can tell him, we can prepare him, but he has to go out there and feel it for himself and learn from it, which I know he will.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Porter’s debut.
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Broncos

As the Broncos prepare for the season opener Monday Sept. 14 against Tennessee one of the biggest position battles is that for the starting center job.

Denver has three players vying for the job and combined they have started zero games in the NFL at center. The Post’s Ryan O’Halloran wrote how as of right now it appears Austin Schlottmann has the edge over Patrick Morris and rookie Lloyd Cushenberry.

Ryan makes a great point that during a normal training camp and preseason teams like to ease rookies into starting roles and make them earn the job so to speak. But this year, with zero preseason games and a truncated camp it would make the most sense to have the guy you expect to start get as many reps with the first team as possible.

That’s why he believes Schlottmann has the inside track as he’s taken all the reps with the first team in three of the four workouts so far. Morris did so on Sunday and Cushenberry has not taken any so far.