Broncos defensive line depth in question for season opener

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos defensive end Jared Crick, who missed much of the preseason with back troubles, was held out of Friday’s practice and that could impact the Broncos’ depth for Monday night’s opener.

Crick had practiced on a limited basis Thursday. Crick and defensive end Derek Wolfe (ankle) each played in just one preseason game after they suffered their injuries on back-to-back practice days in mid-August.

Broncos coach Vance Joseph had said earlier in the week that he hoped both Crick and Wolfe would continue to make progress and be ready to play in Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Wolfe, too, had practiced on a limited basis Thursday and then practiced fully Friday.

"Wolfe was out there the last couple days," said defensive coordinator Joe Woods after Friday’s practice. “We slowly worked him back in terms of getting him reps. He was nine-on-seven (drills) with full pads. He handled it well. He came out of it. He feels great. Crick right now is day-to-day. We’re going to continue to evaluate him throughout the week."

If Crick cannot play against the Chargers, the Broncos would have just five healthy defensive linemen on the roster available for the game -- Wolfe, Domata Peko, Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris and Kyle Peko. Zach Kerr is not expected to play against the Chargers because of a knee injury and Gotsis has missed some practice time with a shoulder injury.

Gotsis and Kyle Peko were limited in Thursday and Friday’s practices. The Broncos will practice on Saturday afternoon and release their final injury report of the week following the workout.