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Broncos HC Sean Payton: Russell Wilson, starters to play in preseason opener

Sean Payton's takeover of the Denver Broncos will include a new requirement for his star players: Preseason participation.

Russell Wilson and fellow Broncos starters will play in Denver's first preseason game versus the Cardinals on Friday, Aug. 11, Payton announced Saturday.

Wilson did not participate in any preseason contest in 2022, his first season with the Broncos after being traded from Seattle to Denver. That campaign ended in failure, leading to the firing of Nathaniel Hackett prior to the end of season. A little more than a month later, Denver agreed to a deal with New Orleans to hire Payton as Broncos head coach.

Payton brought with him to Denver a 152-89 record as a head coach, including a win in Super Bowl XLIV. He also instilled a change in how business is conducted in Denver, which has trickled over into the preseason with the inclusion of Wilson and other starters planning to play.

We shouldn't expect to see them on the field long, but the fact they're participating at all marks a shift in approach for a Broncos team that was too relaxed in 2022, which showed in its inability to execute consistently. Payton, Wilson and Co. will aim to correct that in 2023 with the hopes of producing the success most everyone expected from them a year ago.

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