Denver Broncos: NFL injury wire

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos will have to adjust the rotation in the defensive front in Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round game against the Indianapolis Colts in Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Defensive end Quanterus Smith did not practice Friday because of a left knee issue, and the Broncos ruled him out for Sunday’s game.

Smith tore the ACL in the knee during his senior season at Western Kentucky University. He had practiced fully on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and then held out of Friday’s practice to close out the week. He has served as DeMarcus Ware's backup at right defensive end for much of the season. Smith played 28.5 percent of the defense's snaps in the regular season.

“Our medical staff is looking at it, they think it’s best that he’s out for the game,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said following Friday’s practice.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has not played since a foot injury he suffered Dec. 14 against the San Diego Chargers, was limited in Friday’s practice and officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Marshall, however, practiced all week and is expected to play.

All of the other players listed on the Broncos’ injury report took part fully Friday and are expected to play, a list that includes quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas.

Julius Thomas, who suffered a left ankle injury Nov. 16 against the Rams, has just three catches since the injury and no touchdowns.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said his ankle injury shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Thomas, who had his ankle stepped on by a teammate in Wednesday’s practice, did not practice on Thursday. Thomas took part on a limited basis on Friday and was formally listed as probable by the Broncos for Sunday’s game.

“It feels way better, way better,’’ Thomas said following practice.

Asked if he would be ready to go against the Bills, Thomas said; “Let’s go.’’

Thomas was limping slight in the end zone at one point during this past Sunday’s win against the Kansas City Chiefs but said the current injury was in a different spot.

“I tweaked it in the end zone a little bit … but I actually got stepped on this time,’’ Thomas said.

And on how much he did in Friday’s practice, he hadded; “I did enough, I was able to get out and run, felt OK.’’

Julius Thomas, who has missed the last two games since injuring his left ankle against the St. Louis Rams, took part in Friday’s practice on a limited basis and was formally listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Thomas has consistently said this week that he’s “close’’ to a return, but he has also not taken part fully in a practice since his injury.

Cornerback Aqib Talib (left hamstring) practiced fully this week, including Friday, and is expected to start against the Bills.

Tight end Jacob Tamme (ribs), defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (elbow), safety Quinton Carter (knee) all took part in Friday’s practice on a limited basis and were listed as questionable.

Wide receiver Cody Latimer, who was having concussion symptoms in Thursday’s practice, did not practice Friday and is under the league’s concussion protocol. He will miss Sunday’s game.

And cornerback Kayvon Webster (right shoulder), running back Ronnie Hillman (left foot) and Montee Ball (right groin) all worked with one of the team’s strength coaches during practice Friday. All three will miss Sunday’s game.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – With Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City Chiefs’ No. 4 ranked rushing attack waiting in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Denver Broncos’ injury issues on defense will require some attention.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall, who is the team’s leading tackler and has played 95.5 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season, did not practice Wednesday as he goes through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Marshall plays in every defensive personnel grouping, so his absence would require the Broncos to use multiple players to replace him.

Rookies Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson would be in that mix as will Steven Johnson, who is already filling in at middle linebacker in the base defense for Nate Irving, who is on injured reserve. Todd Davis, a linebacker the Broncos claimed off waivers just before they played in St. Louis, even worked some on defense in Wednesday's practice.

“We’ve got a long list,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “We’ve got some young guys … We’ll lean on Corey Nelson, Lamin Barrow, Steven Johnson. We got Todd Davis out there [Wednesday] a guy we acquired last week … He got a pretty good look. It will be from that crew.’’

Cornerback Aqib Talib (left hamstring) also did not practice Wednesday, and cornerback Kayvon Webster, who plays in some of the team’s specialty packages, did not practice because of a right shoulder injury. Talib was on the field during practice, dressed in sweats, but Marshall and Webster were not.

Also Wednesday, tight end Julius Thomas (left ankle) was once again dressed for practice, as he did last week, but did not participate. Thomas did do some work with the team’s strength and conditioning coaches off to the side.

Thomas dressed for practice each day last week, but did not practice and was a gameday inactive for the Broncos’ 39-36 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Running backs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) did not practice last week and were not on the field Wednesday. Hillman, who has been wearing a walking boot on his left foot, is expected to miss several weeks. The Broncos continue to hope Ball can return to the practice field within the next two weeks.

Defensive end Quanterus Smith (ankle) and safety Quinton Carter (knee) were limited in Wednesday’s practice. Both are expected to play Sunday.

Safety David Bruton, who had X-rays for a finger injury following Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, took part fully in practice.

Emmanuel Sanders listed as probable

November, 21, 2014
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos got some good news on the injury front Friday when wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) was cleared to practice fully and is expected to be in the lineup Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Sanders had been cleared for light conditioning earlier in the week, but Broncos coach John Fox said after Friday's practice Sanders was a full participant in practice and was formally listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

“He cleared the doctors, and independent doctors last night,’’ Fox said. “ … He looked good. First and foremost is player safety and he cleared all the required doctors through concussion protocol … and looked good out here today.’’

Sanders said shortly after practice he was ready to play and expected to play against the Dolphins.

Also, Fox said tight end Julius Thomas did little in Friday’s practice. Thomas did go through stretching and dressed in helmet, jersey, sweats and with cleats on as if he hoped to practice.

“We could have said limited, but it was probably closer to did not participate,’’ Fox said. “But he still is questionable.’’

Thomas did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

The Broncos may be light at the tight end spot for the game given that tight end Virgil Green (calf) was also listed as questionable. Green, who has missed the last three games, was limited in Friday’s workout. As a result all three healthy running backs on the roster -- C.J. Anderson, Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs -- will be in uniform against the Dolphins.

As expected, running backs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) did not practice Friday, after not practicing earlier in the week as well and were ruled out. Hillman has been wearing a walking boot on his left foot in recent days.

Nate Irving to have surgery on knee

November, 14, 2014
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, will have surgery within the next two weeks to repair the knee.

Broncos coach John Fox said following Thursday’s practice that “there’s too much going on in there to think he is just going to rehab it. We want to get it taken care of.’’

Irving suffered the injury in the Broncos’ Nov. 2 loss to the New England Patriots. Irving suffered a severely sprained MCL, which can mean some tearing in the ligament, but the Broncos now want to check for other damage in the knee.

The Broncos now believe, after the swelling in the knee has subsided somewhat, Irving might have a partial tear of the ACL, but that will be checked again when Irving has his surgery.

“(Surgery) was a consideration the whole time,’’ Fox said. “I think we became aware of it when some of the swelling came down that this would be the best way to pursue it going forward.’’

Irving was in the Broncos’ complex Friday rehabbing the injury with the Broncos’ medical staff.

The player the Broncos claimed off waivers Thursday and take Irving’s place on the roster, linebacker Todd Davis, will meet the team in St. Louis on Saturday. The Broncos, because of the 11 a.m. kickoff (Mountain time), were scheduled to leave for St. Louis Friday afternoon.

Irving was expected to miss several weeks even at the time of the initial diagnosis, but his surgery was scheduled after doctors continued to examine the knee in recent days. Irving is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

For Sunday's game against the Rams, running back Ronnie Hillman (foot) and tight end Virgil Green (calf) did not practice Friday. Hillman is expected to miss at least two to three weeks with his injury.

Neither Hillman nor Green practiced this week. While Hillman has been ruled out, the Broncos listed Green as doubtful. Both are expected to be among the team's seven gameday inactives.

Running back Montee Ball practiced fully through the week and will be in uniform and in the running back rotation for the game. C.J. Anderson is expected to start, but Ball will get some work as well.

It was Ball’s first week of full participation since an Oct. 5 right groin injury.

Paul Cornick not expected to play

November, 7, 2014
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos right tackle Paul Cornick, who was moved into the starting lineup on Oct. 19 against the San Francisco 49ers, did not participate in Friday’s practice because of a shoulder injury.

Cornick, who did not participate in Thursday’s workout after taking part only on a limited basis Wednesday, was officially listed as questionable. If Cornick does not show significant improvement on Saturday, he is not expected to play Sunday in Oakland.

In Friday’s practice Cornick was in uniform and did have his helmet under his arm but did not take part in the workout. Broncos coach John Fox declined to say how things would be adjusted if Cornick could not play.

“I’m not going to get into who’s playing, how much, when, where, purely from a competitive standpoint,’’ Fox said.

Also Friday Broncos running back Montee Ball took part on a limited basis, finishing out his first full week of practice since he suffered a groin injury on Oct. 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Fox said he liked what he saw from Ball this week, especially since the running back is down to 212 pounds, from 224 at the time of his injury.

“Definitely, I think he kind of reshaped his body a little bit, he had an earlier issue with an appendectomy and he’s had some time here to get back in the weight and conditioning where he wanted to be,’’ Fox said. “And that’s been a positive.’’

Ball was officially listed as questionable, but at this point is expected to be in uniform for Sunday’s game.

Safety Quinton Carter (hamstring) was limited Friday and will be evaluated more Saturday.

Wide receiver Wes Welker (back) and linebacker Steven Johnson (ankle) took part fully Friday. Johnson is expected to be in the lineup in the base defense as the Broncos adjust to middle linebacker Nate Irving (knee) being out for several weeks.

Irving, who did not practice this week, suffered a sprained right MCL in the loss to the New England Patriots.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos special teams captain David Bruton suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Sunday night’s 31-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, and coach John Fox said the player will be listed as day to day.

Bruton suffered the injury when he was hit by Colts safety Colt Anderson during kickoff coverage on what was a second-quarter touchback on a Broncos kickoff. Bruton and Anderson had tangled during the game’s opening kick, with some pushing as the play ended.

Privately many with the Broncos were not happy with Anderson’s play since the kickoff by Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was not close to being a returnable kick. Asked about the play Monday, Broncos coach John Fox paused slightly before answering.

“Whether you like it or not, it was a legal hit,’’ Fox said. “It’s allowed in the game. I’ll leave it at that.’’

Bruton was evaluated Monday to confirm what the team’s medical staff believed the injury to be when Bruton stayed down on the ground after McManus’ kick sailed over the end zone.

“He’ll be day-to-day,’’ Fox said. “It’s not season-ending or anything of that nature. He’s doing fine today … we’ll re-evaluate it, as far as his practice availability, on Wednesday.’’

Bruton plays a variety of prominent roles on special teams, including personal protector on the punt team as well in the middle of the formation in kickoff coverage. If he either misses time, or is limited, the Broncos would have several adjustments to make.

Tight end Jacob Tamme, for example, would be the personal protector on the punt team. He filled in there after Bruton left Sunday’s game.

“It’s something that can be dealt with, obviously it’s painful,’’ Fox said. “ … Our medical people will treat it and we’ll see where he is Wednesday.’’
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos' depth at wide receiver has been tested thus far in the preseason.

Emmanuel Sanders was back in practice Thursday after being held out of both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s workout. He has missed several days of practice since suffering a thigh injury shortly after training camp opened.

Jordan Norwood suffered a season-ending knee injury in Wednesday’s practice, and Wes Welker was excused, for personal reasons, Thursday, which was also the third and last day of the Broncos’ combined practices with the Houston Texans. It meant Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Andre Caldwell and rookie Cody Latimer got plenty of work with the starters.

And depending on how many snaps the Broncos elect to give Thomas and Sanders in Saturday’s preseason game with the Texans, Caldwell and Latimer could get some premium playing time.

“We’ll meet [Friday] night. … We’ve already talked about coming into this week, it’s more reps, more intense reps this week might affect a little less playing time with the starters,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said.

The Broncos will have to consider some additional options at the position as well because of Norwood’s injury. Norwood, who tore his left ACL in Wednesday’s practice and will miss the season, had positioned himself to make the final 53 as the team’s sixth receiver as well as a punt returner.

The fifth-year pro, who has started just four career games, was also poised to get a smattering of snaps with one of the league 's most high-powered offense, or as he said earlier in camp “everything you could ask for as a receiver.’’

The Broncos are expected to move him to injured reserve in the coming days, but had not yet done so as of Thursday afternoon. It also means the team is still on the hunt for a punt returner where Norwood had distanced himself from most of the others who have auditioned for the job.

“Very disappointed for him, very disappointed for us selfishly," Fox said. "Jordan has worked very hard, had a very good opportunity to make our football team, make us better. So, I know he’s very disappointed, as we are.’’

As far as Saturday’s game, the Broncos might tread lightly with Sanders. After missing some practice time before the team’s preseason opener, Sanders played 20 snaps against the Seattle Seahawks only to miss practice time the following week as well as the preseason game in San Francisco last weekend. Thursday marked the first time he has been on the practice field this week, and the Broncos will have a light practice Friday morning.

Welker, too, is expected to be back with the team this weekend, but he might he held out as well.

“Get [Welker] back, see what state of mind he’s in, see where he’s at in the gameplan and go from there,’’ Fox said.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a question mark going into last week’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s a question mark going into Sunday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sanders, who had sat out Monday’s practice before participating in Tuesday’s and Thursday’s work, was held out of Friday’s morning practice with a thigh injury.

“I don’t know, we just take it one day at a time,’’ said Broncos head coach John Fox. “We thought the smart thing to do was to hold him out of practice [Friday]. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.’’

It was a bit of a surprise Sanders played in the preseason opener after missing time with the injury -- he ended up playing 20 snaps in the 21-16 Broncos’ victory. And given the injury has flared up again, the Broncos may consider the most prudent move to be keeping him out of the 49ers game.

Following Sundays game, the Broncos will practice for three days against the Houston Texans next week before a Sept. 23 game against the Texans. The Broncos starters will likely play into the third quarter against the Texans.

Against the 49ers, the starters are expected to play into the second quarter.

Linebacker Danny Trevathan (lower left leg) and running back Montee Ball, who is returning from an appendectomy, did not participate. Defensive end Chase Vaughn (right knee) and defensive end Greg Latta (right hip) were again held out of practice.

Danny Trevathan's road to recovery

August, 13, 2014
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- While the Denver Broncos hoped for the best, the revelation that linebacker Danny Trevathan has a fracture just below his left knee rather than ligament damage still has to be considered good news and leaves open the possibility Trevathan could return before the Broncos are a quarter of the way through their regular-season schedule.

Or, as head coach John Fox put it following Tuesday night’s practice: “We were hoping it was a bruise, that would have been the best news. Obviously that’s better than ligament damage, those are the out-for-the-season types of things."

Trevathan suffered medial tibial impaction fracture during Tuesday’s morning practice and Fox said Trevathan had “a crack ... high on the tibia."

The Broncos have put Trevathan’s timetable for recovery at “four to eight weeks," while Trevathan has said he’s hoping for a slightly quicker return at four to six weeks. Either way the key, according to Stephania Bell, ESPN’s injury analyst and a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, will be the care Trevathan and the Broncos take early on with the injury.

Trevathan must keep weight off of his left leg initially in his recovery to prevent the fracture from becoming any larger or creating any other issues in the knee. Depending on how the fracture heals the Broncos can, according to Bell, have Trevathan put weight on the leg on a graduated basis.

Once Trevathan has progressed to the point where he can move the knee, the Broncos can use several methods for him to maintain his conditioning until he returns to the field. He can do work in a pool to keep weight off of his leg or the Broncos can use an AlterG, a type of treadmill that would allow the Broncos to control the amount of weight Trevathan can put on the leg while also simulating the action of running.

But all of those things would not begin until the fracture has healed enough to allow it. The Broncos say Trevathan will not need surgery to repair any cartilage or ligament damage around the fracture and believe the linebacker could return to the lineup following a Week 4 bye.

That timetable would mean Trevathan would miss three regular-season games. The Broncos, who have an early-season bye in Week 4, face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5 and the New York Jets in Week 6.

The third-year linebacker, who was the team’s leading tackler last season with 124, and is one of the most versatile players in defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s scheme. Trevathan, who plays on the weak side in the base defense, is a three-down player at the position with enough strength to fill gaps in the run defense and enough speed and athleticism to work downfield in pass coverage.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who suffered a right thigh injury in Monday’s practice, was held out of the Broncos’ workout Tuesday morning.

Sanders was on the practice field but did not have a helmet and did not participate. The injury is not considered serious, but he is now likely a bit of a question mark for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

Tight end Jacob Tamme was excused from practice for personal reasons.

Also held out of practice was running back Montee Ball, who had an appendectomy onMonday. Broncos coach John Fox has said he expects Ball to be ready for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

Rookie safety Charles Mitchell was pulled out of practice with a hamstring injury while defensive end Chase Vaughn (right knee) and defensive end Greg Latta (right hip) were again held out of practice.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Defensive end DeMarcus Ware returned to practice Thursday after missing two days' worth of practice with a bruised lower right leg. Ware was limited some but participated in some drills.

Ware suffered his injury Sunday in the team’s practice at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and had not practiced since. He had done conditioning work and looked to be running without any problems during the team's stadium practice Wednesday.

Defensive end Derek Wolfe, who was pulled out of a practice earlier in camp with stiffness in his lower back, was taken out of Thursday’s practice as well.

"(He) should be fine, we’ll evaluate him day to day," Broncos coach John Fox said.

The Broncos also held defensive end Chase Vaughn (right knee), defensive end Greg Latta (right hip) and cornerback Lou Young (groin) out of Thursday’s workout.

Safety John Boyett (back), who had not practiced this week, returned to practice as well. Boyett had a big hit in red-zone drills when he knocked rookie running back Brennan Clay off his feet.
DENVER -- The Denver Broncos went public Sunday as they held their first training camp practice of the season in front of their loyal followers.

They escaped a fully-padded workout of two hours without any significant injuries and the 21,993 fans on hand got their first up-close look at the changes the team made following the 35-point loss in Super Bowl XLVIII.

'It was exciting to out there in front of them,’’ said linebacker Von Miller. “ ... We all like to show what kind of team we have."

One of those highly-anticipated free-agent signees, defensive end DeMarcus Ware, was held out if the second half of the practice with what Broncos head coach John Fox called a lower leg bruise.

“It doesn’t appear to be serious, but we did hold him out,’’ said head coach John Fox.

Defensive tackle Marvin Austin looked to have suffered a right hand/thumb injury during the workout as well. Austin has his hand taped and did return to the practice, but it appeared to still be bothering him following practice.

Because of the $35 million construction project currently underway at their suburban Denver complex, which includes an indoor practice facility, the Broncos could not have fans at their training camp practices this year. So, Sunday’s practice at the stadium was the first time they had an open practice for fans to see.

They will also have their Wednesday practice inside the stadium and Saturday will hold their annual scrimmage at the stadium. Last summer 44,439 fans attended the team’s scrimmage.

Jammer among Broncos' inactives

February, 2, 2014
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Denver Broncos inactives for Super Bowl XLVIII included at least one minor surprise when cornerback Quentin Jammer was one of the seven players who will not suit up for the game, according to the Broncos.

Jammer had played in some of the Broncos' specialty units down the stretch and the decision meant cornerback Marquice Cole, who was signed in the days leading up to the AFC Championship game, would be in uniform Sunday night.

The Broncos' other inactives are: quarterback Zac Dysert, running back Ronnie Hillman, tackle Vinston Painter, guard Chris Kuper, tight end Joel Dreessen and defensive tackle Sione Fua.

Fua has battled a calf injury for the last week.
NEWARK, N.J. -- After being held out of practice for a week because of an illness, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater made his first public appearance Tuesday since the team arrived to the New York/New Jersey area.

Prater participated in the team’s media day event at the Prudential Center and is on track to practice Wednesday when the Broncos conduct a workout at the New York Jets' practice facility. Prater said he felt "a lot better" and spent his time Tuesday answering the usual questions for kickers about potential Super Bowl game winners and bad weather for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII.

Asked how weather might affect the game, Prater said, "You know me. I’m not a huge thinker about too much. It’s just one of those things where I think no matter what, if you hit the ball well, it’s going to go straight and it’s going to go far. I’m not worried about it too much. I don’t think it’s going to be too windy. If anything, the wind affects it more than the cold. As long as it’s not too windy, I think we’ll be fine to get the touchbacks, hopefully limit their return game."

The Broncos held Prater out of practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday, in part, for Prater to recover and to avoid passing the illness to other players a week out from the title game. Broncos coach John Fox has said repeatedly Prater would be fine for Sunday’s game.

Prater led the NFL in touchbacks on kickoffs during the regular season and was 25-of-26 on field goal attempts, including 6-of-7 from 50 or more yards, including an NFL record 64-yarder Dec. 8 against the Tennessee Titans.

Prater is 5-of-6 in the postseason, including a 4-of-4 performance in the AFC Championship Game last Sunday.