Three key members of the Denver Broncos missed practice on Wednesday as the team began its preparations to face the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.
Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater remains in the NFL concussion protocol, where he has been listed since taking a hit in the Broncos’ Week 4 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Drew Lock is expected to take Bridgewater’s place if he can’t play. Lock started the game between the teams at Heinz Field in 2020.
Starting running back Melvin Gordon also missed Wednesday’s practice with a lower leg contusion. Gordon has been banged up with both leg and rib injuries, but played through them against Baltimore, rushing nine times for 56 yards against the Ravens. Rookie Javonte Williams is Gordon’s backup.
Rookie first-round pick Patrick Surtain II is also on the injured list. He was held out Wednesday with a chest injury. Surtain left the Ravens game early with the ailment. He has been the Broncos’ No. 2 cornerback by snap count, behind Kyle Fuller, but just ahead of Bryce Callahan.
Fellow cornerback Ronald Darby returned to Broncos practice on Wednesday while remaining on the injured reserve list. He could be a contender for some of the available reps at cornerback if Surtain cannot play, along with Mike Ford and Kary Vincent Jr.
Other Broncos not practicing on Wednesday included kick return Diontae Spencer (chest) and tackle Bobby Massie (rest). Six players were limited: linebacker Baron Browning (back), guard Graham Glasgow (knee), linebacker Von Miller (rest), linebacker Andre Mintze (hamstring), tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (hamstring) and guard Dalton Risner (ankle).