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Ron Dayne figures the New York Giants fans will not greet him fondly when he makes his return Sunday with the Denver Broncos.

Ron Dayne figures the New York Giants fans will not greet him fondly when he makes his return Sunday with the Denver Broncos.

"It doesn't really matter, but they'll probably boo," Dayne said.

Dayne was New York's first-round pick in 2000, a New Jersey native who won a Heisman Trophy at Wisconsin. But Dayne never panned out with the Giants, leaving after five disappointing seasons. Dayne signed with the Broncos in the off-season, but he is now buried behind Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell on the depth chart.

Dayne came off the bench to lead Denver on a game-winning drive against San Diego in Week 2, gaining 38 yards on six carries to set up a Jason Elam field goal. But he has only five carries since then and hasn't played tailback in two weeks.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan has said that Dayne's downhill running style is a good fit for the offense and he could be a factor in the offense sometime this year. But for now, he is waiting his turn. "They're both playing well, Tatum and Mike," Dayne said. "I'm just there whenever they need me."

Dayne said he wasn't frustrated about his role, and said that he had no extra motivation to play well against the Giants. He didn't want to say much about returning to New York.

"It don't matter what team we're playing," Dayne said.

PLAYER NOTES
--CB Champ Bailey's practice routine hasn't changed, even though he's probable on the injury report. He's still a little limited during practice because of his hamstring injury but he expects to play on Sunday.

--S Nick Ferguson was upgraded from questionable to probable on the injury report. Ferguson has an ankle injury but will likely play on Sunday against New York.

--T George Foster practiced Wednesday and Thursday and will start against the Giants and DE Michael Strahan unless he has a setback before game day.

--WR Darius Watts is no closer to getting on the field than he was earlier this season. Watts, Denver's third receiver last year as a rookie, fell down the depth chart during training camp and is now stuck behind new No. 3 wide receiver Charlie Adams.

--CB Darrent Williams hasn't gotten loose for a long punt return since his long return against San Diego in Week 2. His three returns since then have gained 3 yards.



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