Broncos hoping Moreno can go

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who had career highs of 37 carries and 224 yards in an overtime loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night, was held out of Wednesday's practice.

Moreno left in overtime with a bone bruise to his right ankle but returned a few plays later and finished the game. However, he used crutches to get to and from the trainer's room following the game and wore a walking boot on his injured ankle on the flight to Denver.

Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday he was hopeful Moreno would return to practice this week and be available for at least some of Sunday's road game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams are 9-2 and tied for first in the AFC West.

"He didn't go today,'' Del Rio said. "I felt pretty good about the report I got back. We'll just see how the week goes.''

Del Rio characterized Moreno and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (shoulder) as "day-to-day'' and said "they don't appear to be significant injuries.''

Montee Ball is expected to get the start if Moreno doesn't play and took snaps with the first team Wednesday. But the Broncos would likely use all three of the remaining backs on the roster -- Ball, C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman -- in a rotation if Moreno doesn't play. All three have struggled at times with ball security this season, with Ball having lost three fumbles.

The Broncos also held tight end Joel Dreessen (left knee), cornerback Omar Bolden (concussion) and quarterback Peyton Manning (right ankle) out of practice. Dreessen and Manning are expected to return to practice Thursday, and Manning will start Sunday.

It was the third consecutive Wednesday the Broncos have held Manning out of practice.

Tight end Julius Thomas (right knee), who did not play against New England, and cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Kayvon Webster (ankle) took part on a limited basis. Del Rio has said he believes Bailey has a chance to play against the Chiefs (he has played in just two games this season and not since Oct. 20 at Indianapolis) and that Thomas is expected to play.