Broncos, Nuggets look toward fall, preseason schedules

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(Graphic Illustration by Jake Dunaetz | The Collegian)

Braidon Nourse, Sports Editor

Broncos football returns

The long wait for NFL football is finally over. While Denver Broncos fans will not yet get their long-awaited appearance from All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, their two preseason games thus far have proven interesting.

The boys in blue and orange started the preseason with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys — only a few days after the two teams held a joint practice at the Dove Valley training facility. The Broncos won that game by a comfortable 17-7.

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While some teams around the league are inciting competition for the starting QB job, the competition in Denver is to see who will best fit the backup role to Wilson. The two main competitors for the job are third-year Brett Rypien and experienced eighth-year Josh Johnson.

“Broncos country will have to wait for Wilson to ride onto the field until the regular season, which opens Sept. 12 against the Seattle Seahawks.”

Johnson put on a clinic against Dallas, completing 16 of his 23 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos’ next game against the Buffalo Bills was Rypien’s time to shine.

The Broncos did not show out in that game overall, losing in a 42-15 blowout to much of the Bills’ starting squad. Despite the embarrassing score line, Rypien showed he could be a capable backup, completing an impressive 22 out of his 26 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. What made this performance all the more impressive was the fact that Buffalo’s starting pass rushers made appearances in the game.

Broncos country will have to wait for Wilson to ride onto the field until the regular season, which opens Sept. 12 against the Seattle Seahawks. In the meantime, there will be one last preseason game Aug. 27 at Empower Field at Mile High against the Minnesota Vikings.

Nuggets schedule released

One of the most fun days of the basketball year comes during the offseason — not with the draft or free agency but the release of the NBA schedule. When the schedule comes out, fans are able to see the marquee matchups of the coming year and block out days on their own calendars to make time to watch.

The Denver Nuggets will begin their five-game preseason Oct. 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Ball Arena. The regular season starts Oct. 19 against the Utah Jazz, and the home opener comes three days later when they host the Thunder.

Nuggets fans, mark your calendars for Oct. 22. The regular season home opener will likely include the Ball Arena returns of star point guard Jamal Murray, who is set to finally conclude a lengthy ACL rehab, and star small forward Michael Porter Jr., who had surgery for his lumbar spine back in November. Along with two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon and new acquisition Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Nuggets will finally be able to boast their championship contender label and prove to the league just how scary they can be when fully healthy.

Another point to note on the schedule is the first Christmas Day game held in Denver since 2020 — a matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who swept the Nuggets out of the playoffs in 2021. The game will air on ESPN.

Reach Braidon Nourse at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @BraidonNourse.