Whether Kyle Orton or Chris Simms starts on Sunday against the Chargers, one difference between the two quarterbacks is certain.
With the right-handed Orton in the lineup, the blind side blocking falls on the shoulders of Ryan Clady. With the left-handed Simms behind center, that onus shifts to Tyler Polumbus.
In the eyes of offensive line coach Rick Dennison, the quarterback’s throwing hand has little effect on pass protection responsibilities.
“I don’t think it is that big of deal,” Dennison said. “He is getting back there and we’ve got to give him time to throw. We just do our protections, we don’t really worry about what hand he is tossing it with.”
Head Coach Josh McDaniels echoed Dennison’s sentiments, noting that the most substantial changes, if any, occur in situations outside of the hashes.
“Just if we were going to move the quarterback out of the pocket or roll him out or something like that, then, obviously, you’d probably roll (Simms) left and (Orton) right,” McDaniels said. “I think everybody in football probably knows that, so I’m not unveiling any big secret. Other than that, nothing really (changes).”
McDaniels confirmed at his Friday morning press conference that Orton was not going to practice in the Friday afternoon session.
While he said it was not ideal for any player to miss three days of practice and then start a game, McDaniels added that Orton’s consistency in taking reps throughout the season is a clear benefit to the situation.
“We’re going to continue to work with him and rehab him, but we’re not going to put him out there at practice today,” McDaniels said. “(We’ll) continue working with him and hopefully, he’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”
While Orton has rehabbed his ankle, Simms has turned in a solid week of practice. Friday stood as a crucial day in his progress, as new threads were being added to the team’s preparation.
“Today will be an important day for him in terms of being in tune with what we’re doing in the passing game when we get down there, two-minute operation and those kinds of things,” McDaniels said. “We’ve got to finish the week off well, but he’s had two good days of practice.”
There were two changes to the Broncos’ Week 11 Injury Report on Friday. After not participating in Thursday’s practice, Correll Buckhalter (knee) and Brandon Lloyd (foot) were both full participants on Friday. Both players are listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
On the San Diego side, there were three Friday changes. After not participating in Thursday’s session T Jeromey Clary (ankle) was a limited participant. He is listed as questionable entering Sunday’s contest. After seeing limited participation on Thursday, DE Travis Johnson (groin) and OLB Shaun Phillips (ankle) were both full participants on Friday. Each player is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.
– Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com