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Friday, September 16, 2011
Broncos could miss top players

By Bill Williamson

The Denver Broncos are in danger of playing Sunday against visiting Cincinnati without four of their key players.

Cornerback Champ Bailey (hamstring), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), receiver Brandon Lloyd (groin) and running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. Lloyd worked on a limited basis Friday. However, Bailey, Dumervil and Moreno didn’t practice all week. When players miss an entire week of practice, it often means they will not play in the game.

Playing without both Bailey and Dumervil (arguably their best two defenders) would be crippling for a defense that is still very much a work in progress. Add in the fact that three fellow starters, linebacker D.J. Williams (elbow) and defensive tackles Ty Warren (triceps) and Marcus Thomas (shoulder), are still out and Denver is in danger of dropping to 0-2 in two home games to start the season.

If Moreno can’t play, Willis McGahee would start and Lance Ball would get some carries. Denver ran the ball just 13 times in a loss to Oakland on Monday night. Losing Moreno wouldn’t help Denver increase that total against the Bengals.

Times are tough in Denver and they might get even tougher Sunday.