ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When the Denver Broncos pack up the last of their things Sunday and board the buses to the airport, they’ll also carry optimism that starting safeties T.J. Ward and safety Darian Stewart will play in Super Bowl 50.
Ward (left ankle) and Stewart (right knee) did not practice this week, but Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has said he expects both to participate in practices once the team arrives in California.
Both players were injured in the Broncos’ 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Ward, who originally suffered his injury in the Broncos’ Nov. 28 win over the Patriots and missed three games, is likely more advanced in his recovery than Stewart at the moment.
"I feel great," Ward said following Saturday’s practice. "I’m just resting and making sure I’m healthy when it comes (to the Super Bowl). I’ll definitely be ready to play."
So Stewart will be the player to watch in the coming week.
The Broncos exited the Super Bowl off week healthy overall. Guards Louis Vasquez (knee) and Evan Mathis (ankle) have been limited some this past week as well, but both are expected to play in Super Bowl 50.
Kubiak called the team’s work "a really good week." The Broncos’ chartered flight will depart Denver at 1:45 p.m. Sunday for San Jose, Calif.
"We have a business trip," Ward said. "Everyone knows that. Let’s just stay focused and stick to our business."