Nowhere has it been suggested that the Broncos face stiff competition within their division or conference. Yet, while Denver is two weeks away from getting back Von Miller, and perhaps Champ Bailey before that, two key foes lost crucial defenders yesterday.
New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork reportedly suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Sunday night, while earlier, San Diego linebacker Dwight Freeney (who had visited Dove Valley in March) reportedly tore his quadriceps tendon.
According to multiple reports, USC is expected to consider Denver DC Jack Del Rio for the head coaching vacancy created by the firing of Lane Kiffin last night.
Writes Mike Freeman:
What is clear, according to NFL team officials, is that USC considers Del Rio among the top, if not the top, prospect for the position.
Freeman goes on to suggest that Del Rio could choose to stay in Denver in hopes that he will be a hot candidate for a head gig in the NFL next year.
Starting strong safety Duke Ihenacho made a limited return to practice on Friday, and along with Champ Bailey and Joel Dreessen has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the visiting Eagles.
It's expected that Ihenacho will play.
Tony Carter was upgraded to a full participant and is probable, while Paris Lenon is doubtful after not having practiced all week. The nine Broncos who were listed on the injury report but practiced all week have all been declared probable.
There's only one change on the injury report today, as Tony Carter made a limited return to practice.
Champ Bailey and Joel Dreessen remained limited, while Duke Ihenacho and Paris Lenon did not practice.
Once again, nine Broncos are listed on the injury report but were full participants, while for the Eagles, Jason Peters was a full participant, and Patrick Chung did not practice.
According to Mike Silver, the Browns have turned away several calls about the potential availability of left tackle Joe Thomas via trade.
Rumors of a Browns fire sale, coupled with the season-ending injury to Denver LT Ryan Clady, had led some to speculate that the Broncos might call about Thomas.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller attempted to cheat the NFL's drug testing system with the help of a starstruck urine collector.
Per the report, Miller had the collector - who's since been fired - submit another person's urine in place of Von's.
There's a chance the Broncos will get back one key defender Monday, in Champ Bailey. But Champ's possible return could be offset some by the potential absence of Shaun Phillips, who missed practice Saturday due to back spasms.
Bailey, Phillips, and Joel Dreessen are listed as questionable on Denver's final injury report for the week, while eight others are probable.
It doesn't quite make up for the loss of Ryan Clady for the season, but Denver received welcome news with Thursday's limited return to practice by Champ Bailey (foot) and Joel Dreessen (knee).
Duke Ihenacho (shoulder) was also limited, although he's said he fully expects to play on Monday night against Oakland. Six other Broncos are listed on the injury report but were full participants Thursday.
In a stunning move, the Browns have sent running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis in exchange for a first-round pick next year.
Cleveland selected Richardson third overall in 2012, when the team was owned by Randy Lerner and led by Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, and Pat Shurmur.
As expected, the Broncos have signed Winston Justice (6-6, 317) to take the roster spot of All-Pro Ryan Clady, who was placed on season-ending IR.
Justice, whom Denver hosted for a workout on Tuesday, was a second-round pick by the Eagles in 2006, and in seven NFL seasons has started 43 of the 59 games in which he's played.