Broncos Update Insider - 12/29

Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he won't spend much time discussing the playoff scenarios with his team this week.There are 10 scenarios in which Denver can make the playoffs.

The Broncos aren't dead, but the news isn't good either. There are 10 scenarios in which Denver can make the playoffs. All of them include the Jets or Baltimore losing.

Denver could still actually make the playoffs with a loss and an 8-8 record, but would need a lot of help for that to happen. Their easiest road into the postseason would be a win and help from at least two other games.

McDaniels has said he will keep the out-of-town scores up on the stadium boards during Sunday's game against the Chiefs. But he clearly doesn't want to spend much time discussing what has to happen elsewhere around the NFL.

"I've been briefed, I would say, on what they are," McDaniels said. "The one thing we can control is what we do and how we play and how we prepare for the Chiefs. I don't think hoping for something else to happen while you're playing or while you're getting ready to play the game is going to do you any good."

After Sunday's game, some players felt the same way, choosing to ignore what might have to happen for them to get in the playoffs.

"Right now I do not know anything and I do not want to know anything," quarterback Kyle Orton said. "Right now as a team we just have to worry about winning next weekend against Kansas City."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Broncos were shocked when receiver Brandon Stokley was ejected in the first quarter of Sunday's game. Stokley is one of the calmest players in Denver's locker room, but felt he was interfered with on a play and ran to the back judge to argue. He hit the official when he gestured, which is an automatic ejection.

"We have to handle that better than we did in that situation," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said.

--The Broncos lost a couple of players for the season against the Eagles. Receiver Kenny McKinley and guard Russ Hochstein will both be placed on injured reserve. The team announced during the game that each of them had a knee injury.

McKinley is a rookie receiver who had played mainly on special teams and was Eddie Royal's primary backup on returns. Hochstein started 10 games at left guard after replacing the ineffective Ben Hamilton early in the season.

During Sunday's game the Broncos had to shuffle the lineup to accommodate for the injuries.

"We needed a lot of guys to step up and play different spots," McDaniels said.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--G Ben Hamilton is likely going to be reinserted into the starting lineup with Russ Hochstein's season-ending knee injury. Hamilton, a free agent at the end of the season, could be playing his final game for the Broncos.

--RB Knowshon Moreno didn't have big stats against the Eagles but Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said it wasn't his fault. McDaniels said the offensive line's problems were the biggest factor in the running game struggles.

--LB Robert Ayers played a lot against Philadelphia because the Eagles often used spread formations. Ayers, who hasn't broken into the starting lineup as a rookie, plays in almost all nickel situations.

--CB Ty Law was inactive against Philadelphia with a hamstring injury. His value to the Broncos has been underrated until his absence, because without him the team has to turn to two rookies to play the nickel and dime cornerback spots.

--RB LaMont Jordan was inactive against the Eagles, a surprise after he ran pretty well against Oakland. Jordan has been behind Peyton Hillis for an active spot a few times because Hillis plays more special teams roles and also can play fullback.



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