Jaguars may not get Royal treatment

October, 10, 2008
10/10/08
6:17
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Broncos are preparing as if rookie receiving sensation Eddie Royal may not play Sunday against visiting Jacksonville.

Royal practiced on a limited basis for a second straight day after suffering an ankle injury in the third quarter of Denver's 16-13 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.  He did not return and he departed the stadium on crutches. Royal did not practice Wednesday.

If Royal doesn't play, veteran Brandon Stokley and Darrell Jackson are expected to play extensively. The Denver offense, one of the most explosive in the NFL, is already not at full strength going into the game.

Tight end Tony Scheffler (groin) and running back Selvin Young (groin) both aren't going to face Jacksonville. Both could be ready for Denver's Monday night Football game at New England on Oct. 20, which is Denver's final game before the bye.

Nate Jackson will replace Scheffler and Michael Pittman will get the primary carries for Denver. If Denver quarterback Jay Cutler is missing Royal in addition to Scheffler and Young, he will have to rely heavily on No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall.

Marshall has been getting doubled-teamed in recent games in light of his 18-catch performance against San Diego in Week. 2. Marshall will have to find ways of getting open without Royal if he doesn't play.

Expect Cutler to look for Stokley often. He has 13 catches in the past two games and is one of Cutler's favorite targets.

Meanwhile, defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban is listed as questionable with a groin injury. He practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day Friday.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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