With John Fox still in intensive care - although reportedly recovering well - plus Gary Kubiak's health scare and the consuming Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito story, it's been easy to lose sight of Sunday's game at San Diego.
But Denver will play five AFCW games among its final eight, and given the Chiefs' flawless record, each and every one of them figures to be crucial.
Jack Del Rio's crew practiced Wednesday without Wes Welker (ankle), Duke Ihenacho (ankle), and Champ Bailey (foot), while Orlando Franklin (ankle), Manny Ramirez (knee), Julius Thomas (ankle), and Joel Dreessen (knee) were limited.
Denver moved center J.D. Walton to the active roster on Tuesday and placed John Moffitt on the reserve/left squad list.
As expected, the Broncos have named Jack Del Rio as interim Head Coach this morning, while John Fox recovers from his heart surgery. Del Rio was the head coach in Jacksonville for nine seasons, and compled a 68-71 record in the regular season, and 1-2 in the postseason. That's pretty solid work for an organization that was consistently under-resourced, especially at the QB position.
Del Rio is expected to continue in his duties as Defensive Coordinator, and I don't think he's ever done both jobs simultaneously before. As Andrew Mason said this morning, the high degree of experience on both the coaching staff, as well as at some key player positions, should assist Del Rio with the double duty.
As John Fox prepares to undergo heart valve surgery this week, Broncos fans saw old friend Gary Kubiak endure a health scare of his own Sunday night on national television.
With the Texans and Colts exiting the field at halftime of their SNF matchup, Kubes dropped to his knees in apparent pain, and was taken via ambulance to an area hospital.
Broncos head coach John Fox was hospitalized in North Carolina on Saturday, after experiencing dizziness and lightheadedness while playing golf.
ESPN had earlier reported that Fox suffered a heart attack, but the 58-year old coach said in a text message to Chris Mortensen that he's "doing fine" and undergoing a battery of tests.
Although it had been reported last month that CBS had chosen to keep the Broncos' two matchups with the Chiefs from being flexed to SNF, that's exactly what has happened with the Week 11 game in Denver.
Originally scheduled for a 4:05 pm ET start, the game will now kick off at 8:30 pm, replacing Packers/Giants.
The two teams will meet again two weeks later at Arrowhead, and that game's kickoff is expected to be shifted from 1 pm ET to 4:25 pm ET.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's fifth career touchdown - and first as a Bronco - helped earn him the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 8.
Per Adam Schefter:
Broncos HC John Fox said X-rays on TE Julius Thomas' ankle were negative. Broncos' bye week next.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2013
It didn't look like Thomas was seriously injuried when he walked off the field on Sunday, but this is still good news for the Broncos going into their bye week.
Eight Broncos are listed as probable after practicing in full on Friday, including Peyton Manning, Wesley Woodyard, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Shaun Phillips, and Robert Ayers.
Joel Dreessen and Mitch Unrein are also probable, Orlando Franklin and Chris Kuper are questionable after being limited participants, and Champ Bailey is out.
Of the eight Broncos who were held out of practice on Wednesday, six of them returned to action on Thursday. Peyton Manning and Eric Decker were full participants, while Orlando Franklin, Wes Welker, Shaun Phillips, and Joel Dreessen were limited.
Wesley Woodyard and Mitch Unrein were full participants after having been limited on Wednesday, while Chris Kuper and Champ Bailey again missed practice.