Friday, October 25, 2013
Broncos have some optimism for Franklin
By Jeff Legwold
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The jury is still out on the Broncos offensive line, but they’re hoping right tackle Orlando Franklin continues to progress to be in the lineup against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Franklin (ankle) did practice on a limited basis Friday and the Broncos formally listed him as questionable for the game. But the Broncos do have at least some additional optimism about Franklin's status, more than they did earlier in the week. Their hope, given the punishment quarterback Peyton Manning has taken over the past two games, being they can get their starting five up front back on the field and protect Manning better.
“Definitely, [Franklin] has gotten from not sure to questionable,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “He’ll be a game-time decision, but he did practice on a limited basis and looked good.’’
Manning took several hard hits against the Jaguars after Franklin left the game and Manning was then sacked four times in last Sunday night’s loss to Indianapolis -- he fumbled after a hit and threw an interception after his arm was hit -- with Franklin out of the lineup. Manning, who was then held out of Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury, had been sacked just five times in the six previous games combined.
If Franklin were able to play, the Broncos would move Louis Vasquez back to his right guard position and have their preferred lineup in the game.
Guard Chris Kuper (ankle), who had filled in at right guard when Vasquez went to right tackle, did practice at least some Friday after being held out of both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices. Kuper was listed as questionable.
Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) was the only Broncos player held out of Friday’s practice and will be a game-day inactive against the Redskins because of the injury.
Wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle), tight end Joel Dreessen (knee), defensive end Shaun Phillips (hamstring), defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (groin), linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck), wide receiver Eric Decker (toe) and defensive end Robert Ayers (shoulder) all participated fully Friday and all are expected to play against the Redskins.