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Running back Phillip Lindsay #30 of the Denver Broncos waits for a pass in the first quarter of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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Camp Countdown: Could a non-WR emerge as Broncos third passing option?

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: Check back each day as 104.3 The Fan continues to count down the biggest storylines for the Denver Broncos heading into training camp in less than a month.

Who will emerge as the number three receiver?

Who will assume the third wide receiver role for the Denver Broncos depends on a set of variables, chief among them the health of Emmanuel Sanders.

Last week, Sanders told “The Drive” that he had “no pain” when he was running just six months after tearing his Achilles during a practice in early December.

“The only time that my Achilles is sore is when I wake up in the morning. I get up, once I start moving around it loosens up, and then I’m ready to go,” Sanders said.

Assuming Sanders health and the continuation of Courtland Sutton’s emergence as a No. 2 (and likely future No. 1) wide receiver, the battle for which pass catcher eats third could be an interesting one.

On Wednesday, “The Safety Blitz” host Nick Ferguson said that, while strictly speaking not a wide receiver, Phillip Lindsay could emerge as the Broncos third option  because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and “immediately take it and make it a home run play.”

“In the screen game, even though some people may look at it as a running play, that’s a pass. So, this is the way that Phillip Lindsay can amass the amount of receiving yards that maybe the tight ends don’t or maybe the actual third receiver, in the sense of the position itself, is not able to amass,” Ferguson said.

However, if the criteria for third wide receiver expands beyond the position itself, as Ferguson suggests, “Stokley and Zach” co-host Zach Bye said the third leading receiver on the Broncos needs to be 2019 first-round pick Noah Fant.

“If we open it up for tight ends, it’s got to be just one candidate for me. If it’s not Noah Fant, and you’re telling me that DaeSean Hamilton, that Tim Patrick, that Phillip Lindsay are going to be more successful in the passing game than Noah Fant is, my brain does a somersault,” Bye said Wednesday.