The first snow at Dove Valley forced the Broncos into the South Suburban Sports Dome for today’s practice. And the players were in a light mood, cracking jokes left and right — after all, since they won last week they didn’t have to wear helmets at practice.
Though he didn’t speak with the media today, Champ Bailey was definitely the player everyone had their eyes on.
He did not practice on Wednesday and participated on a limited basis Thursday.
When he initially suffered his injury against the Patriots, Head Coach Mike Shanahan and Bailey believed it would be 4-6 weeks before he returned.
Bailey participated in today’s practice as well, though in actuality, it was more of a walkthrough since the bad weather forced the Broncos into the Dome for practice.
“He practiced today,” Shanahan said. “He’s feeling better. Hopefully no setback and we’ll kind of see how he feels before the game.”
If he is healthy enough to play on Sunday, it will surely boost the defense that already has injuries across the board. Prior to his injury, Bailey had lamented the fact that he hadn’t had as many opportunities to make plays — after all, quarterbacks never threw to his side.
NO GROUND WORRIES
Another thing Shanahan spoke about after today’s practice was the situation at running back, and as he said, when injuries decimate a running back corps, things are going to change.
“I think we’ve probably thrown the ball a little bit more this year than we have in the past, but any time you lose five of your guys you’re always going to be tested,” Shanahan said. “I still have a good feeling about the guys that we’ve got.”
And those guys of course include Peyton Hillis, P.J. Pope, the newly added Tatum Bell and the still injured Selvin Young, who has not participated in practice this week.
“I think Peyton Hillis did a great job, he played well,” Shanahan said. “And we’ve got Tatum back. Pope’s been with our system for about seven weeks. Obviously Tatum’s got the experience and the other two guys have really stepped up. I’ll be surprised if we don’t run the ball well.”