Droughns, Hearst, Bell ready

Quentin Griffin suffered a flare up in his ankle sprain at practice on Friday and may have to sit as the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Read the latest on the running back situation in today's news reports.

Broncos seeking higher ground - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 9, 2004 - Olandis Gary did it. Mike Anderson did it. And now it might be Reuben Droughns' turn, at least in the short term. With Quentin Griffin battling a left ankle sprain, the Denver Broncos need a running back to pick up the ball and run with it when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Griffin practiced sparingly Friday after missing two days of practice.

Game of chance for Droughns - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 9, 2004 - At one time, no one batted an eyelash when it came to Reuben Droughns carrying the ball. After all, he was drafted as a running back in the third round by the Detroit Lions in 2000. Then, he got hurt, bounced around the league for a spell and landed in Denver, where he volunteered to be a fullback and finally found a home. But deep inside, there always was that void: He wanted to be an offensive weapon again, with the football in hand more than just in token fashion.

Herndon lets contributions do the talking - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 9, 2004 - Denver Broncos cornerback Kelly Herndon has made a decision, and he's ready to live with it. He realizes the decision whether he remains a starter this season isn't his. "That's just it, the decision isn't mine, so you can't think about that," Herndon said. "It's just the mentality I have. You can only say so much, do so much, so I try to spend my time making sure I'm doing the right things." Herndon has started at right cornerback since Lenny Walls injured his ankle in training camp.

Adams: Elam's start has been off on right foot - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
October 9, 2004 - To borrow from the punch line of late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, NFL kickers don't get no respect. But give Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam credit for trying to earn his respect. Now in his 12th pro season, Elam, who is the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 1,350 points, is on the verge of becoming the 16th NFL player to kick at least 300 regular-season field goals.

NFL injury report, October 9 - Rocky Mountain News
October 9, 2004 - NFL injury report, October 9

Kennedy making an impact - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 9, 2004 - John Lynch and Champ Bailey seem to make all the headlines. Lynch was fined for a nationally televised collision with Dante Hall in Denver's opener and hero-worshipped before, during and after his memorable return to Tampa Bay last Sunday. Bailey caught the Broncos' first pass and made the defense's first interception against Kansas City and has lived up to the hype after being acquired in the blockbuster trade for Clinton Portis.

Griffin may sit out on Sunday - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 9, 2004 - This week Q stands for questionable. Quentin Griffin, the only running back on Denver's roster with more than 10 carries this season, was only able to practice very briefly on Friday and remains very questionable for Sunday's game against Carolina.

Panthers to tackle Mile High's pressure - Charlotte Observer - Stan Olson
Posted on Fri, Oct. 08 - To hear some NFL players tell it, if you come to Denver to play the Broncos, better bring an oxygen mask and a Sherpa guide. Invesco Field is approximately a mile above sea level, and the city lets you know it by calling the stadium "Invesco Field at Mile High." The Broncos, of course, don't want you to forget you're essentially 5,280 feet above sea level. And the Panthers know the Broncos want them to think that way.

Veteran Denver Broncos kicker Elam makes excellence seem routine - Canadia.com - Eddie Pells
October 8, 2004 - So, what does a guy have to do to get a game ball around here? Jason Elam had every right to ask that question in the week after he made a 49-yard field goal, a 50-yard field goal, the game-winning field goal and was named the AFC special teams player of the week. Oh, and all that came three days after his wife gave birth to their fourth child.

Reuben Droughns Answers Your Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, October 8, 2004 - This week's Q&A is with Broncos fullback/kick returner Reuben Droughns. Honored as the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Month for September, Droughns has excelled at returning kicks for the Broncos, ranking first in the league during the month with a 30.5-yard average per kick return.

The Neutralizer - DenverBroncos.com - James Merilatt
Friday, October 8, 2004 - Some assignments are daunting. They are tasks loaded with responsibility, duties that carry a heavy burden. They are jobs of the utmost importance, ones that affect the group as a whole. They are pressure-laden activities, one's not suited for the faint of heart. They are totally dependent on the person executing the mission, trades performed in desperate isolation. In the National Football League, one position fits this bill better than any other – shutdown cornerback.

This Week in Gameday: Oct. 10 Issue - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, October 8, 2004 - Much was made of Willie Middlebrooksfrustrating first three years in the NFL, seasons in which he did not see any action on a defensive snap until midway through the 2003 season. Now, just as much should be made of the things he's doing well in helping the defense rise to the No. 2 spot in the league's statistical rankings after four weeks. Last week, Middlebrooks was a part of two of the biggest plays for a defense that held its opposition below 15 points for a third consecutive game, posting a third-down sack of Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson and pouncing on a fumble to generate the only turnover of the game, one that the Broncos turned into six points.

Broncology: Chain Movers and Clock Chewers - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, October 8, 2004 - Right after the Broncos traded running back Clinton Portis to the Washington Redskins, one of the deal's primary architects, Head Coach Mike Shanahan, spoke of how the commitment to the run was what mattered and helped ensure long-term success on the ground -- not necessarily the player who happens to carry the football.

Panthers At a Glance - DenverBroncos.com - Tucker Gilmore
Friday, October 8, 2004 - The Broncos return home this Sunday for another cross-conference battle. After fighting out a hard-earned 16-13 victory in Tampa Bay, the Broncos welcome the Carolina Panthers to Invesco Field at Mile High. This will be the first time since defeating San Francisco and St. Louis in 2002 that the Broncos will face NFC opponents in back-to-back weeks. This matchup will also mark only the second time these two teams have met; the Broncos won the 1997 encounter 34-0 at Mile High Stadium.

Friday Notebook: Griffin a Game-Time Decision - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, October 8, 2004 - Running back Quentin Griffin's sprained ankle flared up Friday afternoon as he attempted to go through his first practice of the week after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday's sessions. "He practiced for a little bit. It got a little bit sore, so we kept him out the rest of practice," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "So it'll be a game-time decision." But Shanahan felt there were some positives to extract regarding Griffin's availability for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. "The good part about it is that you could see that he could still run," Shanahan said. "He can't cut 100 percent right now, so he just practiced about seven or eight plays, and we'll see before the game if we activate him."

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