Gardener spends weekend in hospital with strep throat

Updated: October 6, 2003, 8:19 PM ET

DENVER -- Denver Broncos defensive tackle Daryl Gardener was released from the hospital Monday morning after spending most of the weekend there with strep throat.

Gardener has been out all season due to wrist surgery and had hoped to return for Sunday's game against Kansas City, but he was sent home Wednesday with a high fever.

Gardener's illness didn't get better as the week progressed and he checked himself into the hospital over the weekend.

"I don't know if it was Saturday or Sunday, but he was quite sore with a high temperature," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's feeling a little bit better today, but it's been a tough weekend for him."

The Broncos signed Gardener in the offseason in the hope that he would bolster a defensive line that struggled late last year. He hasn't played this season after injuring his wrist in a fight outside a pancake restaurant in July.

Gardener had hoped to return by the opener against Cincinnati but was still in a cast. He started working out with the team about three weeks ago, but had to back off because of soreness.

Shanahan wasn't sure if Gardener would be ready to go this week against Pittsburgh and was concerned about whether he would lose his conditioning.

"It's always tough when a guy is out for a week with any type of setback," Shanahan said. "I really don't know what his status is. We'll get a chance to see what he looks like when he comes in tomorrow, if he comes in tomorrow." ^------=

^INJURIES:@ Quarterback Jake Plummer came away from Sunday's game against Kansas City with a bruised shoulder and a sprained foot. He said the foot is just part of the pain of playing football, but the shoulder feels about like it did after he separated it against San Diego on Sept. 14.

Plummer wasn't sure if he'd be able to practice on Wednesday.

"You don't want to change your mechanics because you might aggravate something else, and that's why if my arm doesn't feel right Wednesday, then I don't want to push it," Plummer said. "I don't want to go out there and have something that will be lingering or make something worse and be more of a problem as the season goes. But I'm going to do everything I did the last time I injured it and I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be back."

Results of an MRI on tight end Shannon Sharpe's knee were negative Monday. He was injured against the Chief when he went up for a pass between two defenders in the first half.

"The good thing is that I'll get today and tomorrow off and come in and see how I feel on Wednesday," Sharpe said. "But I'm not too bad. It's a bruise and that's nice to know because it sets my mind at ease." ^------=

^EXTRA POINTS:@ Starting LT Ephraim Salaam had an MRI on his right knee on Monday. It was the same knee that he had arthroscopic surgery on during training camp, but the test showed no structural damage. ... SS Kenoy Kennedy had hoped to be back for Sunday's game, but his sprained ankle was too sore. He's feeling better and hopes to be back this week against the Steelers. "You know, as far as sprinting straight ahead, it's fine. I just finished running now," he said. "But back-peddling is where it really hurts me. That's my job, is to backpeddle. I can't do it." ... Shanahan said SS Nick Ferguson (knee), WR Rod Smith (shoulder), CB Willie Middlebrooks (shoulder) and DT Monsanto Pope were treated for injuries on Monday but didn't indicate if they would miss practice. He also said WR Ed McCaffrey had his playing time limited Sunday because of a lingering thigh bruise.

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