UPDATED 5:48 P.M. MDT
While Travis Henry did not take part in Wednesday’s practice to rest his aching knee and ankle, safety John Lynch practiced and declared himself ready to play against his hometown team Sunday.
“He’s back,” Lynch said, smiling, as he paused before heading into the locker room following the two-and-a-quarter-hour session at Broncos headquarters.
Lynch was listed on the official injury report as having “limited participation,” but left the field satisfied with his day of work.
“I was very pleased,” Lynch added. “I also did a little on Friday, but I came out here, practiced a complete practice and felt good. I’m excited.”
In looking back, Lynch understood why the coaches opted to shelve him at Indianapolis, even though he chafed on the sideline watching Colts runners carve the Broncos defense for 226 rushing yards — the most permitted by the Broncos in a game since Dec. 28, 2003.
“(Sitting out) was probably the smart thing,” Lynch said. “It’s the last thing you want to do, but that’s what makes Mike (Shanahan) a successful coach. He knew that would be a hard decision for me, so he made the decision himself.
“I didn’t necessarily like it, but in retrospect it was the right thing to do, and I feel good.”
In addition to Henry, three other players did not practice on Wednesday: defensive tackle Sam Adams, safety Hamza Abdullah and wide receiver Javon Walker. Adams has not practiced on Wednesdays all year and his absence was listed as a “team decision,” as it has the past four weeks. Abdullah has been ruled out with a hip injury, while Walker missed the session as he continues to grapple with the right-knee inflammation that sideliend him last week.
Henry was “a little bit sore,” Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. The MRI examination he underwent on his ankle and knee came up negative, but Shanahan nevertheless opted to hold the running back on the sidelines for the day.
Eight other players were listed as having “limited participation” on Wednesday: tight end Stephen Alexander (calf), running back Mike Bell (concussion), kicker Jason Elam (right hip), defensive end John Engelberger (shoulder), offensive tackle Ryan Harris (back), running back Paul Smith (neck) and wide receiver Brandon Stokley (calf).
Meanwhile, the Broncos will not be able to bring Domenik Hixon back onto the practice squad if they so desired, as the New York Giants claimed the second-year wide receiver and kick returner off waivers. The Giants’ coaching staff includes Thomas McGaughey, who worked as a special-teams assistant for the Broncos in 2005 and 2006.
Denver’s practice squad now stands at seven players after the Wednesday signing of preseason roster casualty Marquay McDaniel; the wide receiver and kick returner initially joined the team as an undrafted rookie from Hampton signee before being released in August.
With Hixon gone, Andre Hall is atop the depth chart at kickoff returner, while Glenn Martinez is shown as the first-team punt returner. Coincidentally, both are from the greater Tampa Bay area; Hall went to Dixie Hollins H.S. in St. Petersburg, while Martinez attended Auburndale H.S.