Royal, who had 91 catches as a rookie last season, has eight catches for 58 yards in four games combined this season. Various theories have been tossed about for Royal's inactivity, including whether he and quarterback Kyle Orton don't have good chemistry.
Orton said the opposite is true.
"I think Eddie and I have probably the best rapport with all of our receivers," Orton said. "We have worked extremely hard, and Eddie is one of those guys that stays after practice every day to run routes and make sure he is doing everything that I want him to do. He has worked hard. We would love to get him the ball more. Maybe it will be the week."
Orton said he thinks Royal will have a big game soon. The Broncos offense is predicated on hitting the open man and not forcing touches to anyone, so fortunes can rise and fall week to week.
Royal, who hasn't complained about his role or lack of statistics, is being watched closely by opponents. They have played some zone to his side to negate his vertical ability, and sometimes they have given him double-team treatment.
"They have certainly been aware of him inside and out," Orton said. "They have done a great job of making sure they know where he is at and relating to him and trying to take him away, but Eddie is the type of guy that can beat double coverage."
--RB Correll Buckhalter missed the first two days of practice this week with an ankle injury. He hasn't been ruled out, but it doesn't appear he will be ready to play Sunday.
--S Brian Dawkins has missed two practices this week with knee and shoulder injuries, but he doesn't appear in much danger of missing Sunday's game. Dawkins has been out at practice, watching his teammates, which most injured Broncos players don't do.
--LB Spencer Larsen missed Thursday's practice and will miss his fifth consecutive game with a shoulder injury. If he isn't ready next week, he could return after the team's Week 7 bye.
--G Ben Hamilton has practiced on a limited basis this week. It appears he will try to play despite a hamstring injury, although the last time he started, against Oakland in Week 4, he had to leave the game early.
--CB Alphonso Smith (ankle) has practiced twice this week, on a limited basis. If Smith isn't 100 percent and can't play, Jack Williams would continue to see action. Williams is coming off a solid game at nickel cornerback.
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