By Justin Adams

DENVER (CBS4) – Now that the preseason games have ended, the Broncos have released their final roster. The team has kept 52 players, which gives them room to add another player to get to the 53-player regular-season roster limit. Here are the players that are currently on the roster.

OFFENSE

Quarterback (2)

Joe Flacco, Drew Lock (Injured Reserve)

As expected, Joe Flacco will start the season as the starting quarterback. Drew Lock will start the season on injured reserve with his thumb injury. Expect the Broncos to sign a free agent to be the Flacco’s backup quarterback.

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos looks on against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter of a preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Running Back/Fullback (5)

Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Andy Janovich, Devontae Booker, Theo Riddick (Injured Reserve)

No surprises here as Phillip Lindsay will be the starter with Royce Freeman being the backup. Devontae Booker makes the team as the third down back. Theo Riddick will start the season on injured reserve as he fractured his shoulder in the preseason game against the Seahawks.

Wide Receivers (6)

Emmanuel Sanders, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, Emmanuel Sanders, Courland Sutton, Juwann Winfree, River Cracraft

Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton will be the starting receivers with DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick being the being the backups. 6th round pick Juwaan Winfree makes the roster as the fifth receiver and special teams ace. Speaking of special teams, River Cracraft is currently the Broncos punt returner, but that could change soon as Broncos GM John Elway is still looking for a returner.

DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 30: River Cracraft #11 of the Denver Broncos returns a punt against the Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“We’re still looking,” Elway said when asked about the punt returner position. “That’s the outlook. We continue to look and try to get better there. Right now, it’s River, but we’ll continue to try to get better there if we can. If there’s someone better than River, then we’ll see what we can do.”

Tight End (4)

Noah Fant, Troy Fumagalli, Jeff Heuerman, Jake Butt (Injured Reserve)

Jake Butt’s knees aren’t healthy enough for him to start the season on the active roster, so he’ll be placed on injured reserve. Fant, Fumagalli and Heuerman will be the three tight ends expected to play against the Raiders in the season opener.

Offensive Linemen (8)

Garrett Bolles, Ja’Wuan James, Ron Leary, Connor McGovern, Dalton Risner, Jake Rodgers, Austin Schlottmann, Elijah Wilkinson

After being cut by seven teams, Jake Rodgers finally makes an NFL roster.

“He just kept improving,” Head Coach Vic Fangio said. “I think that Mike Munchak and his guys in the O-line with him that are helping him … did a great job with him and the guy kept improving. He obviously has a lot more improving to do and that’s our job to get it out of him, but he did a good job.”

DEFENSE

Defensive Line (6)

Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, DeMarcus Walker, Derek Wolfe

(credit: CBS)

Highlands Ranch native Mike Purcell makes the team with a strong training camp. Purcell hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers.

Linebackers (9)

Bradley Chubb, Todd Davis, Justin Hollins, Josey Jewell, Alexander Johnson, Joseph Jones, Von Miller, Malik Reed, Josh Watson

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Linebacker Malik Reed #59 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a sack against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter of a preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Two undrafted rookies round out the linebacking room with Josh Watson and Malik Reed. Head Coach Vic Fangio says that A.J. Johnson still “has a lot of improving to do, but I’m encouraged by where he’s headed.”

Defensive Backs (9)

De’Vante Bausby, Bryce Callahan, Duke Dawson, Chris Harris Jr., Kareem Jackson, Trey Marshall, Will Parks, Justin Simmons, Isaac Yiadom

Duke Dawson Jr. of the New England Patriots posea with fans during the Super Bowl Victory Parade on Feb. 5, 2019. (credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The Broncos added depth to the secondary by trading for Duke Dawson from the New England Patriots. Chris Harris Jr. and Bryce Callahan will be the starting corners with Kareen Jackson and Justin Simmons expecting to be the starting safeties.

Specialist (3)

Long Snapper: Casey Kreiter

Kicker: Brandon McManus

Punter: Colby Wadman

No change at special teams. Carey Kreiter was a Pro Bowl long-snapper, Brandon McManus is the kicker and Colby Wadman will be the punter.

Here are the players who were waved:

George Aston (FB), Quinn Bailey (Tackle), Trinity Benson (WR), Keishawn Bierria (LB), Adam Bisnowaty (OL), Jake Brendel (OL), Fred Brown (WR), Jamal Carter (LB), Rashard Causey (CB), Su’a Cravens (Safety), Ryan Crozier (Center), Joe Dineen (LB), Steven Dunbar Jr. (WR), Ahmad Gooden (LB), Kevin Hogan (QB), Alijah Holder (CB), Devontae Jackson (RB), Trey Johnson (CB), Sam Jones (OL), Tyler Jones (OL), Brendan Langley (WR), John Leglue (Tackle), Kelvin McKnight (WR), Khalfani Muhammad (RB), Dadi Nicolas (LB), Brett Rypien (QB), Deyon Sizer (DL), Linden Stephens (CB), Moral Stephens (TE), Dymonte Thomas (Safety), David Williams (RB), DeShawn Williams (DE)

Released:

Don Barclay (OL), Orson Charles (TE), Chaz Green (OL), Shamarko Thomas (Safety)

A practice squad of up to 10 players could be in place beginning Sunday at 11 a.m.

Justin Adams

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