Dawkins ready for emotional return to Philly

Perhaps the Denver Broncos can feed off Brian Dawkins' emotional high on Sunday. There will surely be plenty of emotion from Dawkins, who returns to Philadelphia after spending 13 seasons with the Eagles.

Dawkins wasn't concerned about being too hyper for Sunday's game -- although it has been speculated he might skip pregame warmups on the field to avoid getting too amped up before the game. He said a few days before the game he wasn't emotional yet, because it wouldn't benefit him to get excited in the middle of the week.

"When it's going to do good is when we touch the field and everything I need to be for my teammates, using my emotions into that," Dawkins said. "Not just relying on my emotions, but allowing my emotions to enhance my play, hopefully."

Dawkins wanted to keep the focus off of himself and on the Broncos' task, which is winning game it could definitely use in the AFC playoff race. Denver is 8-6. With two wins the Broncos will be in the playoffs, with only one loss they face a potential logjam of wild-card contenders at 9-7.

While the Broncos know well that Sunday will be an unusual and emotional day for Dawkins, they aren't worried about that taking him out of his game.

"He's the ultimate professional," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "He's going to be himself. Emotion has always played a part in his preparation, has always played a part in his leadership."


--WR Eddie Royal returned to a limited practice Thursday. He missed Wednesday's practice with a head/neck injury. Royal has a chance to play on Sunday.

--RB Correll Buckhalter has practiced on a limited basis all week and should be fine to play Sunday. He missed last week with an ankle injury but should get his usual 10-12 carries.

--CB Ty Law was held out of practice. That might have been a precaution with the Broncos practicing outside in cold weather and Law nursing a hamstring injury. But if Law can't go, Denver's two backup cornerbacks would be rookies Tony Carter and Alphonso Smith.

--S David Bruton returned to practice after missing Wednesday with an illness. He is one of Denver's top special-teams players and its top backup safety. He should be ready to play Sunday.

--LB D.J. Williams was a limited participant in Thursday's practice. He has an ankle injury, but that should not keep him out of Sunday's game. Williams has missed five games in his career, all due to a knee injury last season.

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