ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Coming off the Denver Broncos' best outings in terms of protecting quarterback Peyton Manning, rookie left tackle Ty Sambrailo was held out of practice Wednesday with an injured left shoulder.
Sambrailo, who was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions, has been the team’s starter since Ryan Clady suffered a season-ending knee injury in May. The Broncos have tinkered with the offensive line for much of the offseason program as well as in training camp and didn’t start their first-team group in a game until the regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens. But after surrendering seven sacks combined in the first two games of the season, the Broncos put Manning in the pistol formation more and the team functioned better in pass protection as the Detroit Lions sacked Manning just once in the game.
“[Sambrailo] has got a sore shoulder, did not practice [Wednesday], he’ll be day-to-day right now,’’ Kubiak said.
The Broncos also held right guard Louis Vasquez (knee) out of practice as “a rest day" Wednesday, so the Broncos were moving players in and out in the offensive line in the practice. Manning took part in the team’s walk-through and the early-practice stretch and warm-ups, but he too was held out of team drills Wednesday as a rest day.
Kubiak said was hopeful Sambrailo could practice on at least a limited basis Thursday, but that the team would be willing to play Sambrailo Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings even with limited practice work this week if Sambrailo was healthy enough to play this weekend.
“I hope [Thursday], we’ll see, he’s really sore," Kubiak said. “One thing about him I know he will be able to play smart, even though he’s a rookie I’m not that concerned about the (practice) reps we just got to get him ready."
Sambrailo suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly in an attempt to block Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis with 13 minutes, 25 seconds left in Sunday’s game. Following the next play, a false start by Broncos center Matt Paradis, Sambrailo grabbed his left wrist between plays to support the injured shoulder throughout the remainder of the game.
He remained in the game following the injury and played every snap on offense. Asked Wednesday if he was surprised Sambrailo stayed in the game, Kubiak said:
“Not the kid I’m around every day, he’s a tough kid and he knows how important he is to us."
Also for the Broncos running back Juwan Thompson (neck), who left Sunday’s game in the third quarter and did not return, practiced fully Wednesday, as did running back C.J. Anderson. Anderson briefly left Sunday’s game to be evaluated for a concussion, but was cleared to return to the game and finished things out as the Broncos’ lead back.