Broncos Update Insider - Wednesday, Nov. 23

Jason Elam found himself in a bind when he strained his left calf during warm-ups before the Denver Broncos played the New York Jets on Sunday. Elam first thought he had a cramp, but he couldn't walk it off. The Broncos training staff told him he had a strained calf, but Elam had little choice but try to kick through it. Read more about Elam as well as all the latest personnel updates in today's "Broncos Update Insider."

Jason Elam found himself in a bind when he strained his left calf during warm-ups before the Broncos played the New York Jets on Sunday.

Elam first thought he had a cramp, but he couldn't walk it off. The Broncos training staff told him he had a strained calf, but Elam had little choice but try to kick through it.

Elam spent most of his time before the game trying to come up with a new, shortened approach because he couldn't push off on his left leg. He even called Jeff Hays, his kicking consultant who coached kickers at the Air Force Academy from 1997-2004, before the game to get advice. Elam kicked well. He was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts, including a 47-yarder. He said he took a quick punch step before his normal swing with the right leg.

"I was basically just one-stepping it," Elam said. "It didn't bother me too bad."

Elam said he probably had more trouble running on and off the field than kicking. He said after Sunday's game that his calf was tight, but he thought he would be ready to kick against Dallas on Thursday.

"Worst case, I just do the same thing I did (against the Jets)," Elam said.

"With him not having to kick off or anything like that, he should be fine," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Broncos tight end Stephen Alexander had a physical exchange with Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis at the end of a running play on Sunday. Alexander was blocking Ellis when Ellis worked his way around him and hip-tossed him to the ground.

"It's just a guy being cheap," Alexander said. "I told the officials, 'Look, I've been fined for less than that.'"

Broncos right tackle George Foster came in and hit Ellis after the play, which drew a personal-foul penalty.

--Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he never had the chance to put in backup quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt for a few snaps against the New York Jets. Denver led 20-0 until scoring its final touchdown with 1:56 remaining.

The Broncos didn't get the ball back after taking a 27-0 lead until there was just enough time to run out the clock. Plummer took the final kneel-down snaps, and Van Pelt still hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game.

"The game wasn't really out of reach until that last touchdown we scored," Shanahan said. "I've watched too many games where teams can come back with a turnover or an interception return. Sometimes when you change quarterbacks before you put a game away, your team believes that the game is over with."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--RB Ron Dayne could be called upon if Tatum Bell can't play against Dallas because of a chest injury. Dayne has similar skills to Mike Anderson and could spell him during the game. Even if Bell plays, Dayne likely will be active.

--WR Ashley Lelie had another long catch against the Jets. Lelie would have had an 85-yard touchdown but the pass was underthrown, so he settled for a 49-yard gain. He beat New York's coverage by 10 yards on the play. Lelie has re-emerged as Denver's big-play threat in the passing game over the past five weeks.

--TE Wesley Duke was active on Sunday but did not play. Duke is a rookie tight end who played basketball in college. The Broncos like his long-term potential. They had him active over fellow TE Nate Jackson against the Jets.

--RB Mike Anderson is a very good goal-line back. He not only is adept at finding the small hole, but he can power his way through it. Anderson had three touchdowns against the Jets, and they totaled 5 yards.

--CB Darrent Williams isn't big, but he can hit. He led Denver with six tackles against the Jets. The rookie has played well all season after unexpectedly earning a starting job, but the most surprising part of his game is how physical he is. The Broncos list him at 188 pounds.



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