Porter back after undisclosed illness Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! After four days off for their bye week, the Broncos returned to practice yesterday.

With his former team coming to town, Tracy Porter was cleared on a noncontact basis yesterday, after he was held back from the trip to San Diego by what is being called an illness. According to Mike Klis, it's questionable whether Porter - who is not making a big deal of the reunion - will be able to suit up against New Orleans on Sunday night.

Then again, the player himself declared himself "ready to go," so we'll assume that's the case.

Broncos

Naturally, Denver's players are downplaying the Saints' 2-4 record, as well they should. At 29.3 points per game, New Orleans is third in the league in scoring.

Jeff Legwold is so excited for the Peyton Manning/Drew Brees showdown that he forgot that 5 x 16 does not equal 60.

Legwold reiterates that the model for Brock Osweiler's development behind Peyton is Aaron Rodgers's tutelage with the Packers, and he says Osweiler has shown "quality" arm strength and mobility, and improving accuracy.

Saints

Interim coach Joe Vitt rejoined the team in Florida following their victory over the Bucs and at the end of his six-game suspension.

If the Saints' bounty-related suspensions are reduced, owner Tom Benson may ask the Ginger Hammer to reconsider the ban on coach Sean Payton.

Not only did Saints WR Joe Morgan make the play of the week with his ridiculous touchdown on Sunday, but he sports more taste than the rest of us, saying he boycotts the Worldwide Leader out of a desire to avoid exposure to Skip Bayless.

PFF's Thomas Maney praises the play of Drew Brees and Lance Moore from Sunday, and he says Jonathan Vilma was effective in his limited return to action.

Trimmings

Chicago (5-1) forced four turnovers in a 13-7 win over Detroit (2-4) that featured a cringeworthy takedown of Jay Cutler by Ndamukong Suh. Cutler missed just one play as a result of the body slam, and no damage was found to his ribs; Jay laudably gave his personal game tickets to the family of the Bears fan who was murdered in cold blood in Jacksonville. Doug Farrar and Matt Bowen analyze the game, which saw Lions WR Nate Burleson suffer a broken leg which will end his season.

Roger Goodell says again that the league will consider eliminating the Pro Bowl, and that West Coast teams playing on the East Coast may get a future break in the form of later kickoffs. Not sure if that includes the Broncos, who will face four early kickoffs in an upcoming seven-week span - at Carolina, Cincy, KC, and Baltimore.

The Chargers say the investigation into the stickiness of their hands centers on the microfiber towels they dry their hands and balls with, that the Broncos were behind the accusations, and that they expect no punishment from the league.

Packers safety Charles Woodson will miss about six weeks with a broken collarbone; Carolina placed CB Chris Gamble on IR; Jacksonville will be without RB Maurice Jones-Drew against Green Bay; Tennessee LT Michael Roos had an appendectomy, while Titans LB Zac Diles broke a leg and is headed to IR; St. Louis released G Quinn Ojinnaka; Ravens LB Sergio Kindle cleared waivers and joined Baltimore's practice squad.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur inexplicably stands by his spineless decision to punt from the +41 on 4th-and-1 against Indy.

Scrapple

Bucky Brooks says the firing of Marty Hurney surely caught the entire Carolina front office by surprise, and that Ron Rivera's job is likely in jeopardy as well, with Bill Cowher looming as a potential replacement.

In Pittsburgh's offense, Mike Tanier sees more dink and dunk than there should be, but he says fewer drops from Mike Wallace and forced passes from Big Ben would help balance that out a bit.

Forgot to mention this yesterday - when the Saints/Bucs game ended Sunday on a (correct) illegal touching penalty on Tampa Bay, old friend John Lynch actually suggested that players could simply re-establish their position in bounds by getting their feet down. Of course, that's completely untrue.

Chase Stuart has found the data to prove the intuitive theory that completions percentages drop and interception rates increase as throws go further downfield.

Aaron Gordon wonders why the Worldwide Leader seems to have already cut bait on their Total QBR albatross. Although we're glad Brian Burke was involved in creating the metric, we hate that it's a proprietary figure, and doubt that Burke was a fan of the weighting toward fourth-quarter performance. Meanwhile, Stuart employs QBR to show that Andrew Luck has been placed in a much more demanding (too demanding?) offense in Indy as compared to RG3 in Washington.

Although Will Leitch's column on game analysts turning their noses up at new-school thinking and statistics focuses on baseball, the same is certainly true of football. A prime example was Thom Brennaman freaking out on Sunday that the G-Men threw the ball on consecutive first downs (ZOMG) during a game in which they averaged 3.4 yards via the run and 8.0 yards per dropback.

Christmas Ape shares the best moments from Sunday, plus his takedown of PK's MMQB.

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

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