Pope tore his hamstring and will need six to eight weeks of recovery time. Young suffered a ruptured disk in his neck. The Broncos will know in a month if he'll need surgery.
Both players were put on injured reserve. The Broncos have a staggering seven tailbacks on injured reserve.
"I would say you were completely nuts if you said we were going to go through seven or eight running backs," coach Mike Shanahan said.
The Broncos signed Cory Boyd off the practice squad and will sign free agent Alex Haynes, Shanahan said. Haynes spent about two weeks with the Broncos in November before he was cut.
Boyd was signed off the practice squad two weeks ago before Denver played Carolina, but the team decided he wasn't ready. He was inactive against the Panthers, then released and signed back to the practice squad.
"(The coaches) said I had some things to work on," Boyd said. "I just did that. They wanted to see hunger still from the same guy that was on the practice squad. That's what I try to do."
--RB Tatum Bell takes over as the most reliable running back the Broncos have left. He probably will see a majority of the carries in a must-win game against San Diego. Since re-signing with the Broncos in early November he has 163 yards on 36 carries.
"I know what I need to do," Bell said.
--The Broncos had to readjust their plans for practice after losing to Buffalo on Sunday. Denver failed to clinch the AFC West and now has to play at San Diego with the division title on the line. Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday he was still deciding how to schedule practice on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
"Obviously if we had won the game, it was going to be a little bit different," Shanahan said. "But right now, I'll sit down with the coaching staff and some of the captains and come up with a schedule that gives us the best chance to be successful and at the same time, celebrate the holiday."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--CB Champ Bailey didn't suffer a setback in Sunday's game and will be ready this week, coach Mike Shanahan said. Bailey missed seven games with a groin injury.
--S Marquand Manuel suffered an ankle injury against Buffalo. Coach Mike Shanahan said the injury wasn't serious.
--FB Spencer Larsen, who was inactive for Sunday's game with a groin injury, should be ready to play this week.
--CB Josh Bell has a sprained ankle. The Broncos will see how he feels as the week progresses before they determine if he can play against the Chargers.
--G Chris Kuper played through Sunday's game with a broken left hand, which impressed coach Mike Shanahan. Kuper should be able to play again this week.
Broncos Update Community Forums