The Broncos will again be without Brian Dawkins on Sunday, which means Denver is likely to again have Quinton Carter and David Bruton manning the starting safety spots. In slightly better news, FB Spencer Larsen is listed as doubtful after it was said earlier in the week that he would definitely miss the game due to his knee sprain. Bruton and dime corner Jonathan Wilhite are questionable, while Von Miller and Eddie Royal are probable for Sunday.
For Pittsburgh, CB Cortez Allen and RB Mewelde Moore are out as expected (S Ryan Clark is out as well but not on the injury report, presumably because his absence is a coaching decision), while C Maurkice Pouncey is listed as questionable after being limited in practice, despite earlier reports that he will miss the game. Several key Steelers are probable, including QB Ben Roethlisberger, G Doug Legursky (who would start at center if Pouncey cannot), LB James Harrison, LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Brett Keisel, S Troy Polamalu and T Jonathan Scott.
It looks like Josh McDaniels will be interviewing to get his old job back. No, not that one. With Patriots OC Bill O'Brien reportedly heading to Penn State to take over their HC gig, McDaniels received permission from the Rams (who fired HC Steve Spagnuolo earlier in the week) to seek out a new position for himself, and the Pats have subsequently sought the Rams' approval to chat with their former assistant. It'll be interesting to see which way McDaniels goes should he have a choice between going back to New England and joining Scott Pioli and possibly Romeo Crennel in KC.
The Broncos are again without S Brian Dawkins at practice today due to the neck injury referred to two weeks ago as potentially being a career ender. FB Spencer Larsen is also out of action and expected to miss Sunday's game against the Steelers as a result of a knee sprain suffered against Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh addressed their injury-plagued running back corps by adding Chad Spann from their practice squad and placing LB Chris Carter on IR to create space for him on the roster. The promotion of Spann was prompted by the season-ending knee injury to Rashard Mendenhall and the strong possibility that Mewelde Moore will be unable to go due to his own knee injury.
Denver has signed LB Brian Iwuh and released S Kyle McCarthy to create a spot for him. Iwuh is an ex-CU Buff who was a top special teams player for the Bears but was unexpectedly released on November 29th at a time Chicago was considering extending his contract. Iwuh is in his sixth NFL season, having spent his first four years with Jacksonville before joining the Bears in 2010, and has been credited with 115 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles in his career. At the time of his release by the Bears, he was their leading special teams tackle with 14.
Denver has reportedly signed Jeremy Jarmon, Cyril Obiozor and Ramzee Robinson to future contracts. Jarmon had been acquired by the Broncos in exchange for WR Jabar Gaffney in July before failing to make Denver's 53-man roster in September. The 24-year-old DE was originally taken by the Redskins in the third round of the 2009 Supplemental Draft. Obiozor is a third-year LB who has had stints with the Packers, Chargers and Rams, while Robinson is a fourth-year CB who was a seventh-round pick by the Lions in 2007 and has also been a member of the Eagles and Browns.
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Although the NFL is set to officially announce the
Popularity Contest Pro Bowl rosters at 7PM ET, word has slipped out that Broncos stars Von Miller, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil have made the AFC squad. Ryan Clady, Britton Colquitt, Brian Dawkins, Willis McGahee, Matt Prater and Tim Tebow have been named as alternates. This marks Champ's 11th selection in his 13-year career, while for Dumervil it's his second.
As the Broncos prepare to face the Pats' lethal passing attack, they have made another move to bolster their secondary. After bringing back CB Tony Carter on Tuesday and releasing S Kyle McCarthy, they've decided to re-sign McCarthy to their active roster and waived FB Quinn Johnson to open a spot for him.
Brian Dawkins and Andre' Goodman were both back at practice today for Denver, pretty much a prerequisite for the Broncos to have any chance at winning Sunday.
Meanwhile, plenty of news involving old friends - PFW is hearing Josh McDaniels is the current frontrunner to replace Handshake Haley in Kansas City, it appears that Kyle Orton will be starting for the Chiefs on Sunday, and Wade Phillips had surgery on his kidney and gall bladder.
Obviously, McDaniels ending up in KC would be a perpetual fountain of storylines - Denver's most emphatic victory of last season came at the Chiefs' expense and ended in the infamous non-handshake, the rematch in KC three weeks later would be McDaniels' final game as Denver's coach, and of course his pursuit of Matt Cassel led to the trade of Jay Cutler in return for Orton and the draft picks that would eventually be part of Denver acquiring Tim Tebow.
Lastly, this Sam Hurd story is only going to get more and more interesting - not only was Hurd apparently one of the biggest dealers in Chi-town, but the police have a list of fellow NFL players Hurd dealt to.
Denver has promoted CB Tony Carter from their practice squad and waived S Kyle McCarthy to create room for him. Carter's promotion would appear to signal that the concussion Andre' Goodman suffered on Sunday is likely to keep him out of action this week against the Pats. The team also waived/injured Derek of the Dominos.
Meanwhile, congratulations are due Matt Prater, who was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 59-yard game knotter and 51-yard winner.
In ex-Broncos news, 2009 draftees Darcel McBath and Richard Quinn finally caught on with new teams - Jacksonville and Washington, respectively.