San Francisco 49ers

Story lines as 49ers get ready to scrimmage the Broncos

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Englewood, Colo.
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) drills at the team's NFL football training camp Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Englewood, Colo. AP

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The 49ers are in Denver -- actually Englewood, Colo. -- Wednesday and Thursday for joint practices with the Broncos. Here are some story lines to consider as we head into the first session, which begins at 10:30 a.m. (PST).

* The winner of the Evan Mathis sweepstakes -- the Broncos. The 33-year-old Mathis signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Denver Tuesday. He is expected to play left guard but may not take part in practice this week. If he did, he would be pitted against the 49ers' nose tackles -- Ian Williams, Mike Purcell and Garrison Smith. He also could see some work against right defensive tackles like Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine.

* Meanwhile, the 49ers offensive line is in flux. Rookie Ian Silberman practiced at right guard with the first-team unit Tuesday. Marcus Martin, the heretofore starter at right guard, played center. It will be interesting to see if that composition continues today and into Saturday's game against the Broncos.

* It's rare when Peyton Manning ever is the No. 3 story line. The 49ers defensive coaches, particularly secondary coach Tim Lewis, will be eager to see how his young, aggressive cornerbacks fare against a Jedi Master like Manning. Keith Reaser saw a lot of action with the first-team defense last week; Kenneth Acker could see a lot of snaps this week.

* Teammates often refer to each other as brothers. For Denver's Von Miller and San Francisco's Tony Jerod-Eddie, the description is more apt. Miller's family took in Jerod-Eddie in high school, and Jerod-Eddie even lived with the Millers after Von Miller went off to Texas A&M, where Jerod-Eddie would soon follow.

* Earlier this year, tackle Joe Staley said he figured Aldon Smith and Miller were the two best pass rushers in the league. Staley no longer gets to face off against Smith, but he could take on Miller, who moves around on the Denver defensive line.

* Michael Wilhoite was back at his familiar starting spot at inside linebacker after missing the first three and a half weeks of training camp with a muscle strain. That suggests that Jim Tomsula abides by the an-injury-won't-cost-your-job theory. Jim Harbaugh might have wavered on that point. (See: Smith, Alex.)

* Both coaches said they don’t want to see the wild melees that the Rams and Cowboys and the Texans and Washington engaged in during joint sessions this summer. The 49ers visited the Ravens last year for three sessions are there were no notable incidents.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at