McDaniels rules out three starters on D

Denver coach Josh McDaniels is usually in one of the most secretive coaches in the league when it comes to injuries. That’s why it is startling that he has already ruled out three defensive starters for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

McDaniels told reporters in Denver on Monday that safety Brian Dawkins (knee), right cornerback Andre Goodman (quadriceps) and outside linebacker Robert Ayers (undisclosed) will be out. Two backups -- safety Darcel McBath (ankle) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) -- are also out.

He didn’t say how long any of the players will be out. But let’s face it, if these five players were all ruled out six days before the game, the timetable could be lengthy for all of them. If there was a chance they could return soon, McDaniels wouldn’t make this call now.

McDaniels acknowledged the injuries, which have been hammering his team since the start of camp, are taking a toll.

"Certainly the injuries don't make it easy, but we've been dealing with that for quite some time now. The next guy's got to step up and play well," McDaniels said. "We've got to give them a good game plan. We might have to be creative with a few things that we do, but that's part of everyone's season. Everyone has to go through roster decisions and make their minds up on how to make up for players that can't play, and that's where we are right now."