ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos gave several veteran players, including quarterback Peyton Manning, the day off in an effort to deal with some aches and pains in the wake of Sunday night’s loss in Indianapolis.
Wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle), tight end Joel Dreessen (knee), guard Chris Kuper (ankle), wide receiver Eric Decker (toe) and defensive end Shaun Phillips (hamstring) were held out of Wednesday’s practice. However, all are expected to practice as the week goes on and be available for Sunday’s game. Manning was held out with a minor ankle injury, but said following practice he would practice Thursday and be ready to start Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
“Just some of it is wear and tear of being almost halfway through an NFL season,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “Some of it is guys who are a little further along in their careers resting to make sure they’re ready to play on Sunday.’’
Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) and tackle Orlando Franklin (ankle) also were held out of Wednesday’s practice. Bailey won’t play against the Redskins; Franklin is still a major question mark for the game, but he did do some work with the team’s strength coaches Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (groin) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck) were limited in the practice. Woodyard, who has missed the last two games, said he felt like he was progressing enough to play Sunday.