3 Broncos players who need a big game vs. Bills to avoid being cut

Denver Broncos, Trey Quinn - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Trey Quinn - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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After the Denver Broncos take on the Buffalo Bills for their second out of three preseason games, general manager George Paton and head coach Nathaniel Hackett are going to have to make some more difficult roster decisions. By early next week, the Broncos (and every other team in the NFL) will have to go from 85 players on the roster down to 80.

Competition for the opportunity to stay on the team for just one more week will be fierce. There are a handful of players around the roster who are sort of on the cusp right now of being potential practice squad guys and really needing a big game against the Bills to stick around.

Which players are fighting for their roster lives with cuts down to 80 looming? Who needs to come up with some big plays against the Bills the most? Let’s take a look at three players whose futures with the team could hang in the balance in Buffalo.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, Donnie Lewis – Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos player in focus: Donnie Lewis Jr., CB

Considering the fact that the Bills are planning on playing their starters for a while in this particular game, we might have to wait a bit to see someone like Donnie Lewis Jr. hit the field for the Denver Broncos. Lewis is a cornerback fighting for a practice squad spot at this point, though a couple of huge games in the preseason? You never know what could happen to his roster chances.

Lewis initially signed with the Denver Broncos after getting a minicamp tryout earlier in the offseason. A former undrafted player out of Tulane, Lewis had three tackles in the Broncos’ preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys but failed to really make a huge impression in coverage.

Lewis is facing incredibly long odds at the 53-man roster. In fact, I think at this point it’s pretty safe to say that’s not happening as of right now. As for the practice squad? He’s still got stiff competition. The Broncos’ top five corners as of right now are:

  • Pat Surtain II
  • Ronald Darby
  • K’Waun Williams
  • Michael Ojemudia
  • Damarri Mathis

There might only be one other cornerback spot on the 53-man roster and it’s going to likely go to one of Essang Bassey or Faion Hicks. The Broncos also really like undrafted rookie Ja’Quan McMillian, one of the players they gave a big bonus to after the 2022 NFL Draft.

There will be multiple practice squad spots available to defensive backs and Lewis needs a big game against the Bills to prove he’s worthy of sticking around another week and taking one of them.