Broncos defensive tackle Gerard Warren said he doesn't know yet if he'll play Sunday against Indianapolis. He will have to manage the pain in his sprained right big toe, which he injured last week.
Warren said he won't take a painkilling shot, however.
"I don't take painkillers," Warren said. "You could take one, but I never take painkillers."
Warren said he is worried about having the injured area numb, and the injury getting worse during the game and not realizing it.
"You know how much pain you can take," Warren said. "With a painkiller, you can tear a tendon off the bone and be out for the whole season."
Warren didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, but the team expects he will practice Friday. The Broncos will get a better idea if he'll be able to play after Friday's practice.
Warren is Denver's best defensive lineman, so losing him would be a big blow against Indianapolis. Demetrin Veal would start and Kenny Peterson would be active for the first time to provide depth if Warren can't play.
--FB Kyle Johnson has practiced all week and should play against Indianapolis. Johnson missed last week's game with a sprained ankle.
--OT Erik Pears is one of the possible replacements for injured Matt Lepsis at left tackle. Pears is a tall, athletic lineman in the mold of the blockers the Broncos have preferred in their scheme. Pears is inexperienced, however, so if he is used at left tackle, the Broncos probably will have to help him.
--RB Tatum Bell is a key to this week's game against Indianapolis. He has a good matchup against a vulnerable run defense. The Broncos are looking for some big plays out of Bell, who hasn't produced as many this year as he did last year. Last year Bell had 10 20-yard runs and three 50-yard runs as a reserve, compared with three 20-yard runs and no 50-yard runs this year.
--WR Rod Smith has nine consecutive 70-catch seasons. He still has a shot at his 10th after a slow start. Smith needs to catch 48 passes in Denver's final 10 games to get 70 this season.
--LB Al Wilson is on the injury report with a thumb injury, but that shouldn't bother him. The Broncos might be without injured DT Gerard Warren, so Wilson will be a focal point in the middle of the defense this week.
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