Chris Kuper in pads and practicing

Manny Ramirez's days functioning as a turnstile along the Broncos offensive line are nearing an end.

Right guard Chris Kuper has returned to participate in today's padded practice, raising hopes that he will be available on at least a part-time basis on Sunday against Oakland. However, Lindsay Jones says the seventh-year player is unlikely to dress Sunday.

Ramirez is the only of Denver's five starting offensive linemen to receive a negative overall score from PFF (-5.3), although he did grade out at +2.1 for the opening win over Pittsburgh.

Kuper missed the last three weeks of the preseason and the first three weeks of the regular season due to a broken forearm. His 2011 season was cut short in Week 17 by a gruesome ankle injury suffered against the Chiefs.

Tracy Porter, Willis McGahee, and Jacob Tamme, who were injured during Sunday's game against Houston, all practicedNate IrvingMatthew Willis, and Quinton Carter participated but were not in pads.

Joe Mays is not present or practicing due to his one-game suspension, although he reportedly will not lose a game check on top of his $50K fine.

LJ says Keith Brooking would probably get the start at Mike in the place of Mays.

Updated 2:28pm ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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