ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – For the first time in 14 weeks, the Denver Broncos had a practice in which all players on their 53-man roster participated, though some were limited.
Manning threw in both Thursday’s and Friday’s practices – “it was a good week and we move forward with this weekend,’’ Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said – and will be the team’s No. 2 quarterback in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the San Diego Chargers.
Marshall was held out of Wednesday night’s walk-through and Thursday’s practice but was a limited participant on Friday.
“He looked pretty good,’’ Kubiak said.
“I feel pretty good, I was able to get out there and do some things,’’ said Marshall, who leads the team in tackles with 101. “It’s a couple days still before we play, so I want to be out there.’’
Overall, in a year when the team’s injury report has topped 20 players some weeks, the Broncos will have more either-or decisions between available players to get from 53 players to the 46 players active on gameday than they’ve had since before their Week 3 game against the Detroit Lions. Since left tackle Ty Sambrailo suffered what was a season-ending shoulder injury against the Lions in that Sept. 27 game, the Broncos have had at least one player miss practice each day until Friday's workout.
“The problem we have right now is a nice problem, we got everybody to practice,’’ Kubiak said. “Here lately we’ve been fighting to have 46 guys up [on gameday], and right now we’re going to have to make some decisions on a couple guys to go down because we’re getting pretty healthy here.’’
The Broncos played this past Monday night while the Chargers will have had 10 days between games since their last game, a Thursday night loss on Christmas Eve to the Oakland Raiders. Kubiak tried to adjust the team’s schedule this week when, in addition to the players’ day off on Tuesday Kubiak gave the team more time off Wednesday.
Kubiak then had the team do a walk-through only practice in the evening.
“You do what you think is best, you know,’’ Kubiak said. “ … We have rallied back.’’
If the Broncos win Sunday, they guarantee themselves the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff bracket and the bye week that comes with it. Should the Broncos win and the New England Patriots lose – to the 5-10 Miami Dolphins – the Broncos would have homefield advantage throughout the postseason.