There's a decent chance the Broncos' season-opening place-kicker is not yet on their roster.

They'll need to find one after Matt Prater, the league's top kicker last season, was notified by the NFL he will be suspended from the first four games of the season for violating the league's alcohol program.

Mitch Ewald, an undrafted rookie from Indiana, is Prater's backup, but the Broncos' daunting first-quarter schedule — Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle and Arizona combined for 45 wins last season — figures to send general manager John Elway searching for a kicker with NFL game experience.

The Broncos may wait until Saturday, when teams must cut their rosters to 53 players, before settling on their kicker. They are expected to monitor the heated kicking competitions in Kansas City (veteran Ryan Succup, rookie Cairo Santos), New Orleans (Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke) and Tennessee (Maikon Bonani and Travis Coons).

Talented young kickers available are Alex Furney, who kicked a 51-yard field goal with 1:08 remaining to lift the New York Jets past Indianapolis, 13-10, in the preseason opener; Brandon Bogotay and Jake Rogers. Cuts. The Broncos released 11 players and must trim two more to reach 75 by 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Getting let go were running backs Brennan Clay and Jerodis Williams, linebackers Jamar Chaney and Jerrell Harris, wide receivers Greg Hardin and Greg Wilson, offensive tackle Winston Justice, safety Charles Mitchell, defensive tackle Will Pericak, quarterback Bryn Renner and defensive end Chase Vaughn.