As T.J. Ward's return to the Denver Broncos football field after missing two game was cut short by the same ankle that knocked him out in the first place, one thing remained perfectly clear:
These battered Broncos could really use that first-round playoff bye.
Linebacker Brandon Marshall is also dealing with a new foot injury, adding to the laundry list of players on the injury report that has been over 20-men long in recent weeks.
A bit concerned about the Brandon Marshall (foot) and TJ Ward (ankle) injuries. They can use that bye. Ward has ligament damage.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) December 30, 2015
Technically an ankle sprain is ligament damage, as told-you-so Twitter commenters were quick to point out, but perhaps Lombardi is clarifying that Ward is still dealing with the injury. Ward indicated it was a "minor setback but nothing major" after the Broncos' win over the Bengals; perhaps it is more serious than initially thought.
Naturally, we'll be keeping an eye on Wednesday's practice report.
The Broncos can earn a first-round playoff bye with a win Week 17 against the San Diego Chargers. They should elect not to rest any of their players this week in order to ensure they can rest everybody a week from now, before the games really matter.
It looks the Broncos dodged the worst with Marshall, but we'll still see if he can play this week.
Marshall MRI came back negative. He should be able to play. Mild sprain. #broncos— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) December 30, 2015