Anderson carries Broncos past Packers
C.J. Anderson galloped for a 16-yard first-quarter touchdown as the Broncos overcame an early first-quarter deficit to defeat the Green Bay Packers 20-17 in the third preseason game for both teams Saturday in Denver.
Anderson’s run was part of a strong night on the ground for the Broncos’ No. 1 offense, which amassed 76 yards on 15 carries behind the first-team offensive line in the first half.
Anderson split carries with veteran Jamaal Charles, who made his preseason debut with the Broncos and picked up 42 yards from scrimmage — 27 yards on four carries and 15 yards on two receptions that set up Brandon McManus’ game-tying field goal just before halftime.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was pulled from the game after two series in which he went 3-of-5 for 12 yards, while leading the Packers on a 29-yard march to a 52-yard Mason Crosby field goal.
Green Bay running back Ty Montgomery ran for 31 yards on just three carries, including a 2-yard touchdown that put the Packers in front 10-0. Montgomery’s run came one play after Kentrell Brice returned an intercepted Trevor Siemian pass 42 yards to the Denver 2-yard line.
The interception was the first thrown by Siemian in the preseason. Siemian recovered and settled into a groove, eventually going 13-of-22 for 127 yards.
While the Broncos avoided injuries to most of their core players, they left the night with concern for defensive end Zach Kerr and backup quarterback Paxton Lynch. Kerr did not return after suffering a knee injury in the first half, while Lynch left early in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury.
If serious, Kerr’s injury could be particularly costly to the Broncos, who played the game without starting defensive ends Jared Crick and Derek Wolfe, who have not practiced or played in nearly two weeks. Billy Winn, who was expected to work in a rotational role, tore his anterior cruciate ligament against the Bears on Aug. 14 and is out for the season.
With Lynch out, undrafted rookie Kyle Sloter played the rest of the second half, completing 4 of 7 passes for 41 yards and a 21-yard touchdown to Hunter Sharp in the third quarter.
Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was pulled from the game because of a groin injury, but remained on the sideline for the rest of the game. The injury did not appear to be serious.