Healthy Broncos return to practice

The Broncos got a few extra days off after beating the Giants last Thursday, and the time off appears to have helped their health.

Denver had only one player, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, sit out of practice on Tuesday. Woodyard suffered a neck injury against the Giants but it isn't considered serious. Woodyard was in the locker room on Tuesday and Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said none of his players have been ruled out of Sunday's game at Kansas City.

"Nobody that I know right now," McDaniels said.

Denver played Thursday and then had four full days off. McDaniels took the unusual approach of giving the team its one day off this week on Monday, then having the team practice on Tuesday, which is generally the players' day off around the NFL.

As a result, a couple of key offensive players should be able to get a full week of practice in. Receiver Eddie Royal did not play in the second half against the Giants because of a thigh injury. Royal was back at practice on Tuesday.

Offensive tackle Ryan Harris also practiced. Harris has missed four straight games with a toe injury but was close to returning last week. The short week ruined any chances of him playing, but he seems like a good bet to play against the Chiefs.


--QB Kyle Orton is coming off a 245-yard game against the Giants and has a good matchup this week against the 30th-ranked Chiefs pass defense. Orton is a solid bet to put up good numbers again this week.

--RB Knowshon Moreno practiced Tuesday. He suffered an injury to his arm against the Giants last Thursday but came back in the game later. He should be fine play this week, as expected.

--RB Correll Buckhalter had 20 carries against the Giants, many of which came after Knowshon Moreno had to leave temporarily with an arm injury. Buckhalter won't get that many carries again this week but could put up some yards against a poor Chiefs rush defense.

--WR Brandon Marshall is on pace to gain 1,039 receiving yards this season, a step down after averaging about 1,300 yards the past two seasons. Marshall has played well but won't put up eye-popping numbers again because of the Broncos' desire to spread the ball around. Marshall is still by far Denver's top receiver.

--WR Eddie Royal could be limited some on returns this week as he comes back from a thigh injury. The Broncos don't want to overwork Royal on returns when he's healthy, so he could see a couple of return reps taken away from him at Kansas City.

--TE Daniel Graham could find himself a bigger part of the pass offense if right tackle Ryan Harris returns from a toe injury this week. Graham hasn't caught more than one pass in any of the four games Harris missed, in part because he has had to stay in more and help with pass protection.

--S Josh Barrett could get some extra time in the nickel and dime defenses if linebacker Wesley Woodyard can't play this week because of a neck injury. Woodyard is a mainstay on passing downs, but Barrett is big enough to play near the line of scrimmage.

--CB Champ Bailey has shadowed a few opposing receivers this season, and there's a chance he could draw Chris Chambers in coverage this week. Chambers has been the Chiefs' top target with Dwayne Bowe suspended.

--LB Elvis Dumervil has usually had pretty good success against the Kansas City Chiefs, notching five career sacks against them. The Chiefs have allowed 38 sacks, the second-most in the NFL this season. Dumervil has 14 sacks this season.

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