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Broncos battered as they set sights on Chargers

DENVER -- Denver Broncos head coach John Fox said this past week "everybody is beat up this time of year."

And the Broncos, now 10-3 after Sunday's 24-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, will head into next Sunday's AFC West showdown with the San Diego Chargers a little beat up.

Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who suffered an ankle injury in practice this past Wednesday when he was stepped on by a teammate, finished the win with two catches for 11 yards. It was Thomas' lowest output since he had 10 yards receiving against Detroit in 2011, the season before Peyton Manning's arrival.

"I know D.T. was hurting out there and he was playing through it," Broncos running back C.J. Anderson said.

Thomas was one of several Broncos who came into Sunday's game hurting a bit or who suffered injury in the win.

Julius Thomas, who has not played since injuring his left ankle in the first quarter of the team's Nov. 16 loss to the St. Louis Rams, was in uniform for the game but did not play.

"If we needed him, we could have [played him] ... he's taken a step in the right direction and we're going to need him moving forward," Fox said.

Anderson injured his left ankle in the win and briefly left the lineup. He played with the ankle heavily taped over his shoe in the second half and had 10 of his 21 carries after halftime. Orlando Franklin, who's played with extra tape on his left ankle this season, briefly left the game before returning, as did guard Louis Vasquez, who was helped off the field and later returned.

Reserve tackle Paul Cornick, who has played as an extra tight end of late, left with a sprained toe on his right foot. Defensive end/tackle Mailk Jackson, who finished with six tackle, two tackles for loss and a sack, walked out of the stadium with his left knee heavily wrapped but was walking without a limp.

Defensive end Derek Wolfe briefly left after a tackle to be evaluated for a concussion but was cleared by the medical staff to return and played the rest of the way. Tight end Jacob Tamme, who missed practice time this past week because of a rib injury, also took a big hit in the same area as the injury when he fumbled late in the first half and will likely be limited in the week to come.

That's all in addition to five other players who were game-day inactives because of injuries: Running backs Montee Ball (right groin) and Ronnie Hillman (left foot) as well as wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion), safety Quinton Carter (knee) and cornerback Kayvon Webster (right shoulder).