Emmanuel Sanders: Was a legal hit

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Friday he's ready to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins and that St. Louis Rams safety Rodney McLeod made "a legal hit'' on the tackle that resulted in Sanders' concussion.

Sanders did add, however, he believed McLeod could have made more of an attempt to go for the ball rather than the hit.

"I think it was a legal hit,'' Sanders said after Friday's practice. "Obviously, [McLeod] didn't hit me in the head or lead with the head. He hit me with the shoulder. But in terms of the intentions of targeting, I feel like the guy could have had an opportunity to go for the ball, but I think his intentions the whole time were to come over and deliver a blow. That's the only thing that I'm not too happy about.

"I feel like the National Football League, although it is a violent game, you're also supposed to protect your brother. And most free safeties, they like interceptions. Obviously, his intent was to try and make a statement, and I guess he did.''

Sanders was knocked out of last Sunday's 22-7 Broncos loss on the fourth play of the second half. Peyton Manning threw a ball deep up the right sideline and McLeod arrived, with shoulder to shoulder contact, as Sanders was diving to try to make the catch.

Sanders remained down on the field for several minutes until he was first helped to the Broncos' bench and then to the locker room. He had not practiced this week until taking part fully in Friday's practice.

Broncos coach John Fox said Sanders "looked good'' in the workout.

Friday was also the first time Sanders had spoken extensively about the play.

"Yeah, I remember the play,'' Sanders said. "I remember everything. I had a go ball, I had the corner one-on-one, and I had beat the corner, and I was actually open, and I was running, and I laid out for the ball, and he came over and he didn't even look at the ball the entire time, he was just looking at me and ready to hit me."

Sanders said he expects to play Sunday against the Dolphins. He is the Broncos' second-leading receiver with 67 catches -- tying his career high -- for 954 yards.

The Dolphins have the league's No. 2 defense overall as well as the league's No. 2 pass defense. Miami and the Kansas City Chiefs are the only teams in the league surrendering fewer than 210 passing yards a game, so Sanders' return to the lineup will be welcome.

"Obviously I did the concussion tests, and then they wouldn't let me back in; that was a violent hit, obviously," Sanders said. "So they had to do the right thing. But I felt good five minutes after the hit was over [that] I was back to normal and back to being myself.''