Less than twelve hours from now, the Broncos will be on their way to Kansas City as they look to move to 4-0 in 2008. As the team wraps up their preparation for Sunday’s gameplan, they can look forward to the fact that one of their previously hobbled defensive players will be close to returning to full form.
Elvis Dumervil had the pins removed from his right pinky finger on Tuesday, meaning that he is that much closer to being 100%. Though he started each of the Broncos’ first three games, he wore a bulky cast over his hand to protect the finger, which he broke during the preseason.
With the pins out, he now has just a splint on the injured finger.
“This is just to protect it still,” Dumervil told reporters after Friday’s practice. “As far as the pain, the sharp pain I was feeling, that was due to the pins, and I finally got them out.”
For a defensive end, using both hands effectively is key to beating offensive linemen and getting to the quarterback. Dumervil has recorded 21 sacks in the last two seasons, but has yet to notch one in 2008. He hopes to change that this weekend.
“It has been frustrating. Before it was painful when I hit, but now I can deal with it,” the third-year defensive end said. “I had a couple (sacks) almost, so hopefully I can get close to getting there this weekend. I feel like I’ve had a great week of preparation. I studied a lot of film this week on these guys, and I’m ready for this weekend.”
PLENTY OF MOTIVATION
Dumervil and the rest of his teammates on the defensive side of the ball will face off against a Chiefs team that has been struggling early in 2008. The Chiefs have started a different quarterback in each of Kansas City’s first three games, and they have started the season 0-3.
But that doesn’t mean the Chiefs don’t present a challenge for the visiting Broncos.
“Teams in this league are going to win eventually,” Champ Bailey said. “Nobody goes defeated in this league — I don’t think it’s ever happened. People are going to win games, and you don’t want the streak to start with you.”
Bailey believes that thought alone should be enough to motivate any NFL player.
“If you can’t get motivated for an NFL game, then you need to be in another league. Any given Sunday somebody can whip your butt.”
The Broncos know that any game played in Arrowhead Stadium presents a challenge, and this weekend will not be any different. They’ve studied the film, and since they play the Chiefs twice a year, every year, they know what their division rivals can do.
And though starter Brodie Croyle will remain out, Damon Huard has shown that he has what it takes
“I know they’re not stable at quarterback and I think that’s been the biggest key,” Bailey said. “Everyone knows that’s the most important position in football, and if you don’t have a sure thing than it’s hard. But Huard, he’s a guy that’s played a while in this league, and that’s who I would go with if I were them, because he’s a guy who can get back there and put up 300 yards, you never know.”
For the Chiefs, Croyle will miss another game with the right shoulder injury he suffered Week 1. Linebacker Donnie Edwards will also miss Sunday’s game. Most interestingly, cornerback Patrick Surtain will not play this weekend after limited participation during this week’s practices. That means the Chiefs will start two rookies at cornerback in Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers.
For the Broncos, Darrell Jackson, Josh Shaw and Ryan Torain will not play this weekend.
– Adam Zinser, DenverBroncos.com