Jay Cutler was back on the practice field Wednesday as the Broncos returned to work 37 1/2 hours after the humbling 23-3 defeat at San Diego, but the left knee that he hurt during the game left him “a little limited” as the Broncos went through a two-hour session on a clear, frigid day at team headquarters.
“I’ll be ready to roll (Thursday),” he said.
After being sacked just 17 times in the season’s first 13 games, Cutler has been tagged for nine sacks in the last two games — both of which saw tight end Daniel Graham hindered by a high ankle sprain he suffered on the opening offensive series of Denver’s 31-13 loss at Houston.
Between the hits Cutler has absorbed the last two weeks and the grind of playing the lengthiest season of his football life, Cutler acknowledged he was “worn down” physically, independent of the now ailing knee for which he must compensate.
“(The knee) is a little banged up,” Cutler said, “but I’ll be ready by Sunday, no problem.”
Cutler was sacked four times in the first half Monday night and was hurried on numerous other occasions. On three occasions Cutler kept the football and ran, gaining a team-leading 42 yards — a healthy 14.0-yards-per-carry average.
Cutler has not missed a start since being promoted onto the first team in Week 13 of the 2006 season.
ALSO OF NOTE:
Graham, wide receiver Brandon Stokley and linebacker Ian Gold all did not practice Wednesday with their injuries … Wide receiver Javon Walker saw limited work … Defensive end John Engelberger (shoulder), safety John Lynch (back), defensive tackle Steven Harris (knee) and center Chris Myers (ankle) were all listed on the injury report but practiced fully.