Locker Room Buzz: Denver Broncos

INDIANAPOLIS -- Observed in the locker room after the Denver Broncos' 39-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:

Slow start: Broncos linebacker Von Miller waited a long time to play in his first game of the season after serving his six-game suspension. He played in his usual rotations in the Broncos’ base defense and specialty packages, but had limited impact, finishing with two tackles, one of those for a loss. "I feel great, I felt physically and mentally ready to go. They have a great team over there."

Fumbled opportunity: It seems as though every time Ronnie Hillman earns his way back into good graces in the backfield rotation, he has a stumble. Sunday, with the Broncos trailing 39-30 and just more than three minutes to play, Denver was on the doorstep of the end zone before Hillman fumbled at the Colts’ 3-yard line and Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea recovered. Hillman quietly shook off requests for comment following the game on his way to the bus.

Bailey injured: Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who missed the first five games of the season with a left foot injury, appeared to have reinjured the foot again Sunday. He was limping noticeably following the game and will be evaluated more Monday after the Broncos get back to Denver.

Protection issues: Quarterback Peyton Manning had been sacked five times in six games combined coming into the night and was sacked four times by the Colts, including two by Robert Mathis. The Broncos' injuries up front seemed to finally catch up with them. Left tackle Ryan Clady is on injured reserve and right tackle Orlando Franklin was sitting out with an ankle injury. The Colts repeatedly pressed the edges, including forcing a fumble and an interception with hits on Manning. "You have to overcome," Manning said.