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Denver Broncos lean toward starting Chris Harris

The Denver Broncos are leaning toward starting Chris Harris in place of 12-time Pro Bowl defensive back Champ Bailey against the Baltimore Ravenson Thursday, NFL Media's Stacey Dales reported, per a source close to the team.

Harris, a third-year cornerback, started 12 games last season. Defensive back Tony Carter also will see a chunk of time when the Broncos are in their nickel defense.

While the Broncos' defensive backfield has some clarity, the offensive backfield is not as clear, Dales reported.

The Broncos remain mum on who will start at running back in the opener. Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball will split carries, but the team likely will utilize both backs for an entire series at a time, due to the tempo of its offense, which doesn't allow for constant substitutions.

The Broncos' backs will face a battered Ravens' defensive line. With defensive tackle Arthur Jones out with an illness and his backup, Brandon Williams, also out with a toe injury, the Ravens are expected to start Marcus Spears, a source told Dales. Spears would start alongside Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty on the defensive front.

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