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Broncos Bills Injury Report: Demaryius Thomas feels 'way better' and aims to play Sunday

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It's week 14 in the NFL, and there are 16 Broncos players on this week's injury report. Yikes! However, when you take a closer look at the report, it's not as bad as it initially appears. Demaryrius Thomas and Aqib Talib are probable, Julius Thomas is questionable to play on Sunday.

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First, the elephant in the room. Demaryius Thomas sounds optimistic that he will play.

"I feel way better," Thomas said Friday, his first day returning to practice since injuring his ankle Wednesday. Asked if he was going to play Sunday, Thomas said, "That is the goal."

Both Demaryius and his partner-in-surname-crime, Julius Thomas, were limited in practice Friday. DT was listed as probable, JT questionable to play on Sunday.

Here's some more good news Broncos Country - Virgil Green is finally off the Broncos injury report! Keep that tucked in your pocket as you make your way through an overview of the longest Broncos injury report we've had this season.

Broncos new to the injury report this week

There are 9 Broncos players on this week's report that weren't there last week. Let's tackle this from most concerning to not concerning at all.

Very concerning (or is it?) - Someone accidentally stepped on Demaryius Thomas during practice on Wednesday which caused an ankle injury that made him a non-participant in Thursday's practice.

Anytime your team's #1 receiver is on the injury report it's a big deal. However John Fox is trying to channel his inner Aaron Rodgers by getting everyone to R-E-L-A-X.

Fox: "He got stepped on. He got cleated inside of his foot. It's a bruise. He'll be fine."

C.J. Anderson was a full participant in practice this week but is on the report for an ankle injury. Juwan Thompson has been on the injury report (and played well) for the last few weeks but it's still less than ideal to have your top 2 RBs have any type of injury.

Is Anderson carrying the ball too much? Here's Adam Gase's answer to that question.

"He's a big guy. He finds a way to not take that direct shot on the last two games especially. With the amount of carries he's had, he's probably only taking one shot where he didn't see it and that was the one [Chiefs LB] Tamba [Hali] got him on. We missed that block and I don't think he saw him off the edge, but for the most part he does a great job of putting himself in a great position of not taking that direct hit."

DT Terrance Knighton cut his elbow on Thursday and therefore missed a bit of practice to get it properly taped up. He was also limited in practice on Friday and is listed as questionable on the injury report.

Jacob Tamme has been limited in practice this week with a rib injury. If Julius Thomas isn't back on the field on Sunday Tamme will be missed (even though he hasn't been his usual reliable self over the last few weeks). I wouldn't want anyone with a rib injury rushed back too early. Whether or not Tamme plays on Sunday I think we'll see more of Virgil Green as TE receiver than TE super-blocker against the Bills.

Center Will Montgomery is working through a knee injury and our extra O-lineman Paul Cornick is back on the report (after briefly being off it) with a shoulder injury. I'm assuming Cornick's shoulder injury is the same one he's been dealing with for the last few weeks. Both O-linemen were full participants by the end of the week and I'm sure will be out there on Sunday.

It appears we'll have a bit longer to wait for Cody Latimer. Latimer entered the NFL concussion protocol on Thursday after showing symptoms at practice. I'm not sure if there was even enough time for Latimer to possibly be cleared before Sunday but he has been ruled out for Sunday's game. (Here's the protocol if you're interested).

There are 2 players new to the report this week that are not causes for much concern. LB Lerentee McCray missed practice for an illness on Wednesday but returned to practice on Thursday. Wes Welker is on the report for missing practice on Wednesday but this was just a "veteran's day off".

Repeat Broncos to the injury report

RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) are still not practicing. Both players are working on the sidelines with trainers and no setbacks have been reported for either player.

Now here's some good news: Julius Thomas was limited in practice this week, but his ankle injury is improving. Thomas is looking much better in practice although he's still listed as a 50/50 chance he'll play on Sunday.

Aqib Talib's hamstring injury is looking even better than JT's ankle. Talib was a full participant in practice this week and had this to say about the difference between last week and this week:

"I can play. I can play at a high level in practice. If you can't practice at a high level, you probably can't play at a high level, so I was able to practice at a high level this week. Looking pretty good."

Now back to some not so great news: Safety Quinton Carter was limited in practice last week because of an ankle injury. This week he's listed on the report for a knee injury and did not participate in practice. I hate seeing players have one injury one week and then another the next (see Virgil Green's recent calf/knee/calf injury). Carter was at least upgraded to a limited participant in Friday's practice and is questionable to play on Sunday.

Kayvon Webster's shoulder injury is still keeping the CB off the practice field and he's out for the Bills game.

I've decided Juwan Thompson is going to spend the rest of the season on the report with his knee injury, but as long as he's a full participant in practice and plays well on game days I'm not going to worry about it.

Broncos off the injury report

Here's my favorite part of this post! LB Brandon Marshall (concussion), DE Quanterus Smith (ankle), S (and fake punt audible caller) David Bruton (finger), and TE Virgil Green (calf) are all off the Broncos injury report.

The Buffalo Bills

The top three receivers for the Bills are dealing with injuries. Sammy Watkins is dealing with a hip injury, Robert Woods has an ankle injury, and Chris Hogan has a hamstring injury. This has got to be concerning for the Bills, especially since the Broncos defense has made it know they are wanting to out-play the Bills defense on Sunday.

Odds and Ends

Who is excited to see Danny Trevathan back on the field? He's excited too and he'll be able to return to practice next week.

Jack Del Rio's take on Trevathan's return:

"Danny is rounding into shape. We're really focusing on that part, the conditioning aspect. He's working primarily with the scout team, he has over the last couple of weeks. And then obviously soon we get the green light with him and it'll be great to get him back."

My prediction for the 7 Broncos inactives this Sunday: Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Kayvon Webster, Quinton Carter, Michael Scofield, Cody Latimer, and Jacob Tamme.

Friday Injury Report

Denver Broncos

Player Pos. Injury Wed. Participation Thur. Participation Fri. Participation Game Status
Ball, Montee RB Groin DNP DNP DNP OUT
Hillman, Ronnie RB Foot DNP DNP DNP OUT
McCray, Lerentee LB Illness DNP LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Tamme, Jacob TE Ribs DNP LIMITED LIMITED QUESTIONABLE
Webster, Kayvon CB Shoulder DNP DNP DNP OUT
Welker, Wes WR Non-Injury DNP FULL FULL PROBABLE
Carter, Quinton S Knee DNP DNP LIMITED QUESTIONABLE
Montgomery, Will C Knee LIMITED FULL FULL PROBABLE
Thomas, Demaryius WR Ankle LIMITED DNP LIMITED PROBABLE
Thomas, Julius TE Ankle LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED QUESTIONABLE
Anderson, C.J. RB Ankle FULL FULL FULL PROBABLE
Cornick, Paul T Shoulder FULL FULL FULL PROBABLE
Talib, Aqib CB Hamstring FULL FULL FULL PROBABLE
Thompson, Juwan RB Knee FULL FULL FULL PROBABLE
Latimer, Cody WR Concussion - - - LIMITED DNP OUT
Knighton, Terrance DT Elbow - - - LIMITED LIMITED QUESTIONABLE

Buffalo Bills

Player Pos. Injury Wed. Participation Thur. Participation Fri. Participation Game Status
Glenn, Cordy T Illness DNP DNP --- ---
Gragg, Chris TE Knee DNP DNP DNP OUT
Williams, Kyle DT Illness DNP DNP ---- ----
Wynn, Jarius DE Knee DNP DNP DNP OUT
Carpenter, Dan K Right Groin LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Dareus, Marcell DT Hip LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Hogan, Chris WR Hamstring LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Rambo, Bacarri S Hamstring LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Watkins, Sammy WR Hip LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Woods, Robert WR Ankle LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED PROBABLE
Williams, Mike WR Calf - - - LIMITED DNP OUT

BOLD-Indicates change in status

STATUS DEFINITIONS: 
Out - player definitely will not play
Doubtful - at least 75% chance player will not play
Questionable - 50-50 chance player will not play
Probable - virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty