5 Denver Broncos players to keep an eye on in preseason Week 2

- Denver Broncos taking on the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night

- Which players have the most at stake?

- Huge opportunity for RBs, WRs, pass rushers

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Denver Broncos / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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The Denver Broncos are almost officially back for the 2023 NFL season with a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night in Glendale. Although the results of preseason games obviously don't matter, what happens within the four quarters certainly does. Players are fighting for their roster lives, not only with the Broncos but for all 31 other teams that might be looking for upgrades.

What players are going to be in focus against the Cardinals? We're undoubtedly watching some of the backups who could end up playing a major role this year, but there are so many different aspects to the preseason that are fascinating.

How is the RB3 competition going to unfold? Which players step up on special teams? What about the kicking competition? Who emerges as the top punt return option? What players step up at receiver after all the team's injuries there? How does the depth on the offensive line look? How does the pass rush look?

These are just a handful of the things we'll be watching in the Denver Broncos' first preseason game, which is technically Week 2 of the preseason. Here are 5 players you should be keeping an eye on, in particular.

5 players to keep an eye on in Denver Broncos preseason game vs. Cardinals

1. Jarrett Stidham, quarterback (no. 4)

It seems obvious to be saying, "Keep an eye on the backup QB," and you certainly won't have to try very hard, but Stidham is a player to watch against the Cardinals without question. The Broncos prioritized Stidham over a wide variety of players available to them. Stidham was not on my personal list of high-upside reclamation QBs for Sean Payton to try and resurrect, but he's a developmental player with starter upside, nonetheless.

Given all that Sean Payton has said about him dating back to the Spring, I think it's safe to say our expectations for this preseason debut should be relatively high. Stidham was signed to be the backup QB, but he's more than "just" a backup. This is someone the Broncos have pegged as having starter upside. This is a player they believe can be one of the top-32 at his position in the league, eventually.

Stidham will be in focus as he goes out and tries to execute a new offense with new teammates against a live opponent.