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Monday, October 28, 2013
Broncos will rest the weary during bye

By Jeff Legwold

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Several injured Denver Broncos will be given a practice bye this week as the Broncos move through their weekend off.

With a long line of players headed into the trainer’s room Monday -- tight end Julius Thomas and safety Duke Ihenacho were added to the list in Sunday’s win against the Washington Redskins -- the Broncos will take a more measured approached to their two days’ worth of practice this week.

Manning
The team has its bye Sunday, so players and coaches will have short workouts Tuesday and Wednesday, then have Thursday through Sunday off before returning Monday.

"We’ll go Broncos versus Broncos next two days ... just work on some areas we need to improve at," Broncos coach John Fox said Monday. "(We’ll) look at some younger guys, hold out the guys that are a little sore or somewhat injured, typical bye week."

Thomas, who suffered a left ankle injury when his leg was twisted awkwardly on a tackle by Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson just after halftime, will be one of those held out of this week’s workouts. Fox said "all the testing has been negative to date" on Thomas’ ankle. Thomas, who missed much of his first two seasons in the league because of troubles with the right ankle after injuring it on his only NFL catch before this season, is fourth on the team in catches with 39, and second in touchdown receptions with eight.

Much like the Broncos did with tests on quarterback Peyton Manning's ankles this past week, Thomas is expected to have his test results looked at by noted foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson, based in Charlotte, N.C., and a Panthers team physician during Fox’s tenure as Carolina’s head coach, performed surgery on Thomas’ right ankle in April of 2012.

Ihenacho was injured when he was folded back awkwardly by a post-play hit by Redskins tight end Jordan Reed after Ihenacho had tried to make a play on a potential interception in the second quarter Sunday. Ihenacho, too, had an MRI Monday. Asked if he thought the hit on Ihenacho was "necessary," given Ihenacho was already down, Fox said.

"I thought a lot of things, but really at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. I tried to get them to look at it again, it just one of those things that's judgment, you have to go with what they call."

No penalty was called on the play.

Overall, tackle Orlando Franklin (ankle), cornerback Champ Bailey (foot), and guard Chris Kuper (ankle) are among the other veteran players expected to be held out of workouts this week. Players who were limited at least some in practice last week are expected to be dialed back as well, like linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck), defensive end Shaun Phillips (hamstring), defensive end Robert Ayers (shoulder) and wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle).

Phillips was taken to the locker room shortly before halftime Sunday, but did return to the game. Manning, too, is expected to get a break from the on-field work this week.

Asked if he would hold Manning out of the next two days, Fox made it clear that was his plan.

"I don’t want to say now, because I might change my mind," Fox said. "We’ll definitely look at everybody who’s sore -- he’s not going to get a whole lot of reps the next two days, I’ll put it that way."