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Broncos' depth being tested by injuries, especially at safety

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Gary Kubiak summed up the Denver Broncos' injury situation in 12 simple words Monday.

"You guys ask me, because I can't think of all of them," Kubiak said.

The Broncos already had a long list of players on the injury report before their 17-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. But in the win, running back C.J. Anderson (ankle), linebacker Danny Trevathan (concussion), tight end Vernon Davis (concussion), safety David Bruton Jr. (left knee) and safety Omar Bolden (hamstring) all left the game at various points with injuries that could keep them out of the lineup.

And no position is thinner on the depth chart at the moment than safety. Bruton said in the locker room Monday that he has a sprained MCL and PCL, before adding, "I think I’m a fast healer." Bruton suffered his injury just before the two-minute warning Sunday on a failed fourth-down attempt by the Chargers.

Bolden's injury, Kubiak said, is similar to one he had in training camp. And Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward didn't even make the trip to San Diego because of a left ankle injury he suffered against the New England Patriots.

"Bottom line, we feel very fortunate with David (Bruton)," Kubiak said. "He's in a day-to-day process. We'll see how he does."

But it has all put the Broncos in wait-and-see mode with the prospect of having to play cornerback Bradley Roby at safety more to compensate for some depth issues. Sunday against the Chargers, Josh Bush, who was signed last Tuesday, was playing in the Broncos' specialty packages in the second half.

Bush had been with the Broncos earlier this season -- he had been cut Oct. 1 -- so he did have a head start on the team's defensive playbook.

"It's a concern right now with T.J. probably still going to take some time to get back, even though he's doing very well, with David's issue," Kubiak said. " … I think we're in a situation at a few spots where we're really going to look, it's going to be a week-to-week process for us, get to next Sunday."

The Broncos have used a three-cornerback look in their base defense plenty this season -- a personnel grouping they call "single," as in one safety -- and Roby has usually been the third cornerback in that look. The Broncos also have an additional cornerback on the roster in rookie Lorenzo Doss to go with a cornerback in rookie Taurean Nixon on the practice squad.

"Roby has played the position because we do a lot of the three corners on the field stuff," Kubiak said. "I think there’s some things we can look at too, obviously, Doss has got to get in this mix. How does he get in the mix? Nixon's a kid who's been doing a really good job for us who we actually thought about activating this past week. There could be some maneuvering there."

In addition to Ward, to go with the other injuries, the Broncos' defense was also without outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and nose tackle Sylvester Williams. The Broncos finished Sunday's win still No. 1 in total defense, No. 1 in sacks and No. 1 in pass defense to go with No. 2 in scoring defense.

"The ship doesn't stop, and we understand that," said Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson.

Overall, Kubiak said Monday that Trevathan and Davis will remain in the concussion protocol until they are medically cleared. He added Anderson was "very sore" Monday and will be evaluated more as the week goes one.