Secondary injuries temper celebration

Although the Broncos clinched a playoff berth, it came at a price. Starting safety Nick Ferguson is out for the season with a broken wrist and starting cornerback Kelly Herndon fractured several bones in his hand. Retooling the secondary becomes the task this week as the Broncos decide what strategy to use against Green Bay in what has become a meaningless game for Denver. Read the latest in today's reports.

Broncos play the waiting game - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - Last Sunday determined the Broncos' playoff fate. This Sunday determines the team's playoff destination. Denver likely will open wild-card weekend at Indianapolis or Tennessee, but possibly Baltimore or Cincinnati. "Hey, wherever we go it's going to be a tough game,' said kicker Jason Elam, the Broncos' longest tenured player.

First step toward Sanders - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - In some ways, it has been easy for Quentin Griffin to emulate Barry Sanders, his idol from the beginning of his football career. Besides sharing the same position - running back - the relatively diminutive size was a given similarity, as was a quiet, albeit mischievous personality.

Broncos need help at safety from Brandon - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - Suddenly, the Broncos are not so secure at safety. Consider: Starting free safety Nick Ferguson's season ended Sunday night in Indianapolis when he suffered a broken wrist. Ferguson had surgery Monday.

Playoff picture comes into focus - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - While five of the six playoff spots in the AFC and four of six NFC postseason berths have been determined, there will be plenty at stake in Week 17, the last of the NFL regular season.

Message is delivered - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 23, 2003 - A confident team can be a dangerous team. The Denver Broncos now officially qualify on both counts. "Right now, we're rolling," fullback Reuben Droughns said of a 5-1 stretch that has elevated the team into the playoffs for the first time since 2000. "And as long as we keep the same intensity, we're going to be a beast down the stretch."

Injuries deal blow to secondary - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
December 23, 2003 - Fantasy-league players should take note. The Denver Broncos likely will be without two more defensive starters Sunday in Green Bay, and coach Mike Shanahan is still mulling how many others might be given a little R&R before the playoffs start.

Adams: Broncos' charge: Turner gets credit - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
December 23, 2003 - Eight different Denver Broncos running backs have rushed for 100 or more yards in a game since 1995. Credit those backs, credit the offensive line, credit the scheme and credit the running backs coach, Bobby Turner. Based on past and current production of the Broncos running backs, Turner very well could be the best position coach in the NFL right now.

Krieger: Broncos' reward not worth the risks - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
December 23, 2003 - I know about the ghosts of '96, OK? I haven't even made my argument yet, and you're reliving the nightmare. Also, I admit, it doesn't really help my case that it started in Green Bay, the Broncos' next destination.

Playoff positioning - Rocky Mountain News
December 23, 2003 - Denver already has clinched a wild-card berth and will go to the AFC playoffs as either the fifth or sixth seed, depending on the following unofficial scenarios -

Broncos tops in 'century' games - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 23, 2003 - Since Mike Shanahan was hired as the head coach, the Denver Broncos have had eight different players run for 100 or more yards in a game. Can you name them?

Ferguson out for rest of year - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 23, 2003 - The Denver Broncos continue to win games and lose players. This time they beat Indianapolis 31-17 Sunday night, but will be without Nick Ferguson for the rest of the season. The free safety fractured a wrist and underwent successful surgery on Monday.

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