Walls done for the season

Denver Broncos cornerback Lenny Walls will have season ending surgery. Walls dislocated his shoulder for the third time during the game against Oakland on Sunday. Read about Walls in today's news reports. Also - safety John Lynch says Denver won't alter it's game plan for San Diego star tight end Antonio Gates.

No time to mope - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - Mike Shanahan wouldn't bite last week. The Chargers would be dealt with in due time, he said, even as much of the hype before the game against the Oakland Raiders was focused on the looming division showdown in San Diego. As his team tries to shake off the pain of a late collapse against Oakland on Sunday night, it is time to deal with the Chargers. And if the Broncos don't take care of San Diego, their hope of winning the AFC West Division and hosting their first postseason game in six years likely would disappear.

New voice may be answer - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - Little did we know back in August that when the Chargers and Broncos met in December, Marty Schottenheimer would be the coach with the secure future and Mike Shanahan would be a regular on the rumor mill. Maybe it will prove to be idle speculation and nothing more, but don't count on it. Shanahan is approaching the crossroads of his career, and Sunday could be the day he arrives. Sunday could mark the beginning of the end of the Shanahan era.

Oft-injured CB Walls out for season - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - Lenny Walls' prediction came true: A third shoulder dislocation ended his season. Walls, who will be put on injured reserve, will need surgery to repair his right shoulder. The cornerback suffered a dislocated shoulder for the third time this season in the second quarter of the Broncos' 25-24 loss to Oakland on Sunday night at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Elam not at fault - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - Broncos coach Mike Shanahan made that point crystal clear Monday afternoon with the pall of Sunday night's 25-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders hovering over Dove Valley. When a misguided reporter asked Shanahan if he was shocked that Elam's last-minute, 43-yard field-goal attempt was blocked, Shanahan shot back: "Well, why would it have anything to do with Jason? You've got to understand football isn't all about a kicker. There's 10 other guys there."

Portis now trails Droughns by 1 yard - Denver Post
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - The score is 946 to 945, and Clinton Portis is losing. The Washington Redskins running back, conspicuous by his absence in another feeble effort by the offense, has fallen 1 yard behind the Broncos' latest running-back-from-nowhere in the unofficial race to shake down the teams' blockbuster offseason trade. In the shadow of the Rockies, Reuben Droughns has come on strong to follow the tradition of Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson and Portis as the Broncos challenge for a playoff berth. Back east, Portis is getting marginalized in a struggling offense for a team going nowhere.

Out of the clear blue sky - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 30, 2004 - SAN DIEGO - The storm that rolled through here early last week didn't drop snow in the city, only in the mountains to the east. Then again, nothing would have surprised residents of American's Finest City, where life has seemed stranger than fiction recently. How else does one explain the Chargers atop the AFC West in late November, already with twice as many wins as all of last season, or Marty Schottenheimer going from hot seat to Coach of the Year candidate?

Finding no reason to give thanks - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 30, 2004 - Maybe it's the tryptophan from the holiday bird. It's as good an explanation as any to explain the crushing defeats the Broncos have endured the past four seasons in the days right around Thanksgiving. Washington in 2001. Indianapolis in 2002. Chicago in 2003. Oakland on Sunday night. Bad losses all. Each was played at Invesco Field at Mile High in games in which Denver was a prohibitive favorite and/or held a seemingly comfortable advantage in the fourth quarter. The Raiders' come-from-behind 25-24 stunner Sunday night was harder to swallow than last year's leftovers.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback: No margin of error left in Broncos' playoff push - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 30, 2004 - Memo to the Broncos: It's no longer "a long season." There no longer is "a lot of football left to play." Denver no longer has time for young players to grow up, to work out the kinks. The Broncos have the here and now. That's it. Crunch the numbers as you run your finger down the AFC standings this morning and you'll reach a sobering conclusion: If the playoffs started today, the Broncos would not make them. The San Diego Chargers (8-3), who just so happen to be the Broncos' next stop, lead the AFC West.

Adams: Invesco is Field of failures for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
November 30, 2004 - Remember when the Denver Broncos owned the fourth quarter at home? Guess those days are buried under asphalt near Invesco Field at Mile High. In their final 48 regular-season games at old Mile High Stadium, the Broncos went 39-9. By comparison, they already have lost nine of their first 30 regular-season games at Invesco Field. But it's how Denver has lost most of those games that is puzzling and troubling to Broncos fans. Seven times at Invesco Field, Denver's opposition has come back from a fourth-quarter tie or deficit to win.

Krieger: Broncos keep delivering splitball - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
November 30, 2004 - I don't know, OK? You write, you call, you leave anonymous messages. This is the sentiment you want to convey. Allow me to save you the trouble. You're right. I have no idea. And I'm not alone. "I'm right with you, man," says Mark Schlereth, the former Broncos guard. "Sometimes, I look at this team and think, 'Gosh, they look like world beaters' and other times I watch 'em and think they're a very average football team."

Broncos hope deja vu ended Sunday - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 30, 2004 - The Denver Broncos have been down this slippery slope before. On Nov. 24, 2002, Mike Shanahan's team was 7-3 entering an ESPN Sunday night game against Indianapolis at Invesco Field. The Broncos wore their alternate orange jerseys that night. It snowed. And the Colts left town with a stunning come-from-behind 23-20 victory. On Nov. 28, 2004 — also known as two days ago — the 7-3 Broncos hosted Oakland for ESPN's Sunday night game. The orange jerseys were back. So was the snow. And the Raiders left town with a stunning come-from-behind 25-24 victory.

Third shoulder injury ends Walls' season - Daily Camera - v
November 30, 2004 - The painfully disappointing 2004 season is over for Lenny Walls. The talented Denver Broncos cornerback will have surgery on his right shoulder, which was dislocated for the third time during Sunday night's 25-24 loss to Oakland at Invesco Field, with the hope of returning healthy for the 2005 campaign. Walls literally got off on the wrong foot this year, suffering an ankle injury on the first day of training camp that required surgery and kept him on the sideline for a month. He dislocated the shoulder in the preseason and a second time during the Oct. 17 game at Oakland.

Denver game looms as the season maker, or breaker - San Diego Union-Tribune - Kevin Acee
November 30, 2004 - There was a time when trying for a ninth victory would be a historic milestone for the Chargers – any time in the past eight seasons, for instance. Not now. Not with Roman Numerals in their sights. "The No. 1 thing is to know where you're at and know where you're trying to go," tight end Antonio Gates said. "We've overcome a lot of adversity and different kinds of controversy and people not believing we're going to win more than two games. Now we're at 8-3. "But in our mindset we had Super Bowl all along, and that's the mindset we're going to continue to take. We're trying to win the division. We're playing a good Denver team – a team in the division – this week. That's just one steppingstone toward the Super Bowl."

Broncos won't alter schemes for Gates - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jerry Magee
November 30, 2004 – Monday, and the Denver Broncos already were thinking about Antonio Gates. "He's obviously a talented, talented player," said John Lynch, the Broncos' veteran free safety from San Diego, of the tight end whom the Denver secondary will endeavor to control when they oppose the Chargers on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. Lynch made the point that the Broncos "did a pretty good job" against Gates in their 23-13 victory here Sept. 26. Gates had four receptions for 30 yards in a passing game that netted only 214 yards.

Monday Notebook: Walls Out for Season - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 29, 2004 - Lenny Walls' first two shoulder dislocations cost him a few games. His third will cost him the season. Walls will undergo shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the year after re-dislocating his right shoulder, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced at his press conference on Monday. Walls first incurred the injury in Week 1 against Kansas City, then had a recurrence in Week 6 at Oakland. "Exactly when that surgery will be, I'm not really sure at this time," Shanahan said. "Anytime a guy's had a dislocated shoulder and it pops out three different times, the doctors recommend they go back in there and have surgery on it so it doesn't happen again."

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