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Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe Expected Back For Week 12

All signs point to the Broncos getting back two key defensive starters for their Week 12 bout with the Chiefs.

The Denver Broncos are coming out of the bye a stronger team. Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib, who missed Denver's last three games with a lower back injury, is expected back, along with defensive end Derek Wolfe, who missed Week 10 with an elbow fracture. 

“[Derek] and Aqib practiced full and both looked good," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "They were moving around pretty good. It’s great to have those guys back as expected. They both had a good week while the other guys were getting a break, too. They made up some ground.”

The Broncos have missed both players keenly. Although Bradley Roby made some great plays in Talib's stead, it's impossible to replace a Hall-of-Fame caliber corner. Having every face in the huddle will make a big difference down the stretch. 

“It’s always good when we get in that huddle and you see everybody," Talib said Monday. "It will be good. We’re well rested so we should come out and play really fast.”

The Broncos were fortunate that Wolfe's injury fell so close to the bye. The big concern with Wolfe's absence was run defense, but the Broncos weathered it as well as could be expected, holding New Orleans to 80 yards on 21 carries. The bye afforded the Broncos the opportunity to recharge and get healthy. Now, they're in the best position possible for the stretch run. 

“You can see that they’re really fresh," Kubiak said. "[They’re] mentally fresh more than anything from getting away from football a little bit. [We had] a lot of enthusiasm out here today with guys bouncing around. We’ll get back in our routine on Wednesday. They were very fresh. You could tell.”

Talib hasn't played football for a month, which is good and bad. Good, in that he's fresh. Bad, in that his conditioning will take some time to get back where it needs to be. 

“The back feels great," Talib. "It’ll just be conditioning. [When] you sit out three weeks and you don’t play football for three weeks, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re going to be tired. The more that you can do the better you will be.” 

The Broncos have six games left on the schedule, including two against the Kansas City Chiefs, and one against the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, respectively. Talib is locked and loaded and ready for battle. 

“I feel great like I’m going to finish great. I got a three week break so my legs feel extra fresh. I just feel super-fresh right now.” 

In other injury news, quarterback Trevor Siemian has battled an injury to his non-throwing shoulder since Week 4. From the sounds of it, the bye also helped him progress and recover, as well. 

“He’s good," Kubiak said. "The break did him some good. He threw the ball really well today and took all of his reps. I just think it’s good for everybody. Obviously he was a little beat up and got an injection before we took the break. He looked like himself today.”

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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