Broncos Update Insider - 10/7

The Broncos passing game might not be completely healthy for a tough matchup against Jacksonville this week. Read the latest news on the Broncos in today's edition of Broncos Update Insider.

The Broncos passing game might not be completely healthy for a tough matchup against Jacksonville this week.

Receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Tony Scheffler both suffered injuries against Tampa Bay. Royal suffered a sprained ankle, and Scheffler injured his groin.

Scheffler said he didn't think his injury was too serious, but he didn't sound optimistic about returning for this week's game.

"Not looking like it," Scheffler said. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan did not give an update on either player Monday.

"We'll talk about injuries on Wednesday when we get the MRIs back," Shanahan said. "But we go through this every Monday -- for obvious reasons we'll talk about that on Wednesday, OK?"

Darrell Jackson is also dealing with an injured calf. He was limited in practice and was unsure if he would be ready to play this week if Royal is out. Brandon Stokley would get the nod if Royal and Jackson can't play.

If Scheffler is out, Nate Jackson would be Denver's second tight end. Like Scheffler, Jackson has receiver skills and probably would be a big part of the passing game.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RB Michael Pittman has run the ball well for the Broncos and could be looking at getting a bigger piece of the action at tailback. Mostly Pittman has been used in situational work with a few carries in normal situations.

"I think everybody saw a tough, hard-nosed runner," coach Mike Shanahan said about Pittman's performance against Tampa Bay. "He made some plays. The better you play, the more time you're going to get."

--Coach Mike Shanahan went out of his way to praise QB Jay Cutler for how well he played against Tampa Bay. Cutler had only 277 yards passing but was patient and didn't throw any careless passes.

"I thought he managed the game very well," Shanahan said.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER NOTES

--RB Ryan Torain, who has an elbow injury, could return to practice as soon as next week and might be able to play after Denver's Week 8 bye. The Broncos gushed about Torain's ability during training camp before he got hurt.
--LB D.J. Williams had 11 tackles, a sack and knocked down a pass against Tampa Bay. Williams, who is back on the weak side for the first time since his rookie season, should get serious Pro Bowl consideration.
--FB Peyton Hillis was inactive against Tampa Bay. Coach Mike Shanahan said it was because the Broncos wanted seven linebackers and seven defensive linemen active against the Buccaneers, so they used Hillis' spot for an extra defensive player.
--FB Spencer Larsen is competing with Peyton Hillis to be Denver's starting fullback. He was Denver's fullback during the few snaps they used one. Larsen spent most of training camp at linebacker, and he was a linebacker his entire college career. But he is a physical and smart player, and the Broncos felt he had fullback skills when they switched him to offense.
--RB Selvin Young had a minor groin injury in Sunday's game. He should not miss any time.



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