- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos had linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck) and defensive end Robert Ayers (left shoulder) back on the practice field Wednesday. After missing last weekend's game against Jacksonville, both were listed as limited in the Broncos’ first injury report of the week.
They are expected to play Sunday, and with Von Miller's return to the practice field Wednesday after a six-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, along with Champ Bailey's return this past Sunday from a foot injury that kept him out for the first five games of the season, the Broncos are poised to have their actual starting defense on the field for the first time Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
"I think it will be good to have everybody together and see what kind of impact it has on the game,'' Broncos coach John Fox said.
The only player held out of practice was right tackle Orlando Franklin, who suffered left knee and ankle sprains against the Jaguars. The Broncos are hoping Franklin will miss only the next two games, and are optimistic he could return to practice next week if things go well.
Center J.D. Walton, who is currently on the physically unable to perform list after offseason surgery to clean out an infection in the ankle he fractured last season, returned to practice for the first time this season. Per league rules, Walton can practice with the team for a period of time that began Tuesday and ends Nov. 19. After 21 days, the Broncos must either move Walton to injured reserve or add him to the 53-man roster.