Brandon Marshall out; Broncos hope Todd Davis ready against Patriots

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall will miss his second consecutive game, as he will not play Sunday against the New England Patriots because of a hamstring injury.

That will put Corey Nelson into the lineup in Marshall's spot. Meanwhile, the Broncos are hopeful the team's other inside linebacker, Todd Davis, will play against the Patriots. Davis left the Broncos' 13-10 loss in Tennessee with a rib cage injury but has improved throughout the week and practiced on a limited basis Friday.

"Todd's listed as questionable," Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said. "I was encouraged by what I saw. ... We'll see how he comes out of it in the morning. We'll move him around a little bit [Saturday]. I think it's going kind of exactly how we thought it was going to go."

A few minutes later, Kubiak followed with: "If Todd's good to go, he's going to play."

The Broncos' linebackers figure to be busy given the Patriots have the No. 7 rushing attack in the league -- 115.5 yards per game -- with a 1,000-yard back in LaGarrette Blount. And like many of the offenses Denver has faced this year, New England is expected to try to isolate running back James White and tight end Martellus Bennett on the Broncos' linebackers in coverage.

White is Patriots' second-most targeted player in the passing game this season with 50 receptions on his 70 targets. White has at least three receptions in each of the Patriots' last five games and at least four in four of those games.

Also Friday, the Broncos moved injured long-snapper Casey Kreiter to injured reserve because of a calf injury. Kreiter has missed the last three games and the Broncos had carried two long snappers on the roster -- Kreiter and Thomas Gafford -- since.

"It just hasn't responded ... we thought it would be a two-week deal type of thing," Kubiak said. "[We] put him back on the field early this week and it just wasn't good."

With Marshall's injury, the Broncos promoted rookie linebacker Vontarrius Dora from the practice squad to fill the roster spot. Dora had two sacks in the preseason.

"Kid's done a great job, so he gets rewarded," Kubiak said. "Think there's a place for him and there's a chance you see him before this year's out, he's got a bright future."