Sauerbrun to kick away

If punter Todd Sauerbrun is to be believed, the Broncos will kick to Devin Hester on Sunday.

Chicago's Hester is perhaps the best returner in the NFL. But the Broncos are improving on special teams, and Sauerbrun said they're ready for the challenge.

Aside from perhaps giving the Bears good field position by kicking away from Hester out of bounds or kicking it short, Sauerbrun said he didn't think it would set a good tone.

"It doesn't look good, it really doesn't," Sauerbrun said. "Yeah, and I know it doesn't look good if he brings it back for 80 yards, but we want to make plays. We're here to make plays and help the team win, not help the team not lose."

Sauerbrun admitted Hester is probably the best returner he has ever seen, but hoped the Broncos would show confidence in him and their coverage units.

"We're not worried at all," Sauerbrun said. "We respect the hell out of him, don't get us wrong. Absolutely. But we're not going to go out there tiptoeing around."

Sauerbrun said that special teams coach Scott O'Brien, who he worked with in Carolina as well, usually doesn't kick away from anyone. "We're not going to do it," Sauerbrun said. "That's not Scott's M.O. and that's not my M.O."

Sauerbrun, who also handles kickoffs, is averaging 48.5 yards per punt.

PLAYER NOTES

--FB Kyle Johnson, who was Denver's normal starter at fullback from 2004-06, was re-signed by the team. Denver has many injuries at tailback and fullback, including to fullback Paul Smith, and Johnson knows the offense so he can step right in and contribute.

--RB Travis Henry was out of practice again Thursday with a knee injury. Henry hasn't bounced back quickly from the knee injury and could miss his third straight game.

--RB Selvin Young didn't practice Thursday. He has a knee injury. The Broncos hope he can play, but he would probably have to practice Friday to have a realistic shot to handle a full workload.

--OL Isaac Snell was released to make room for Kyle Johnson. Snell provided depth, and hadn't played in a game for the Broncos.

--FB Mike Bell could move back to tailback to provide depth against Chicago. Bell was a tailback last year, but was moved to fullback late in the preseason and has been there since. Cecil Sapp could also move from fullback to tailback and see carries.


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