Suspended linebacker Von Miller won't be the only defensive starter missing when the Broncos kick off their regular season on Thursday against the Ravens. Cornerback Champ Bailey has also been ruled out.
Bailey hasn't practiced since injuring his foot on Aug. 17 against the Seahawks in the Broncos second preseason game. The 35-year-old Bailey has only missed a total of four games since 2009.
With Bailey out, the Broncos starting corners on Thursday will be Chris Harris and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers-Cromartie, who was signed in the offseason, started eight games in 2012 for the Eagles.
"I do believe we acquired a really good football player in Dominique," Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said, via the Denver Post. "But we also have one that's going to be sitting out in Champ. We'll tee it up and play. I'm not really big on making predictions. I'm big on getting our guys ready to the best of their ability, going out there and competing."
The Broncos will also be without tight end Joel Dreessen, who is still recovering from kneecap surgery. In his first season with Denver last year, Dreessen finished fifth on the team with 41 receptions.