Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning sat out Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury, but he expects to return to the field today in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.
Manning, who suffered the ankle injury late in last Sunday’s win at San Diego, said he underwent treatment on Wednesday and has no doubt about being ready for Sunday’s nationally televised showdown for the AFC West lead.
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“I feel fine,” Manning said during a conference call with Kansas City reporters. “I took a day to rehab and use the time to get better.”
Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said Manning participated in the team’s walkthrough before sitting out practice.
Manning, a 16-year veteran, is one player who could probably get by without a lot of practice, though Del Rio said, “We prefer to have them all practice.”
Chiefs wide receiver/punt returner Dexter McCluster was listed as limited in practice due to an ankle injury, which probably was a factor in the club’s claiming Kyle Williams on Wednesday.
Backup defensive end Mike Catapano was also limited with an ankle.
Wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder), tight end Anthony Fasano (knee/ankle), tight end Sean McGrath (knee), linebacker Dezman Moses (toe) and fullback Anthony Sherman (knee/calf) were full participants.
The Broncos said besides Manning, defensive end Robert Ayers (non-injury related), linebacker Nate Irving (shoulder), and tight end Joel Dreessen (knee) did not practice. Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) and wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle) were limited.
Second time around
The Chiefs and Broncos will meet twice in three weeks, and the Chiefs don’t expect it to get any easier in the Dec. 1 rematch at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Win or lose this game, it’s going to be even harder the second game,” said Chiefs inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. “That’s how it is in the NFL. When things work the first time, they probably won’t work when you come back and play them again.”
How big a game is it?
Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Broncos is the first in 44 years (and fifth in NFL history) between clubs with records of 9-0 and 8-1 or better.
The last such matchup was in 1969, when the 11-0 Los Angeles Rams lost 20-13 to the 10-1 Minnesota Vikings, who played in the Super Bowl later that season. Two weeks earlier, the 9-0 Rams edged the 8-1 Dallas Cowboys 24-23.