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Broncos’ O-line searching for stability

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The state of the Denver Broncos’ running game isn’t helped by the offensive line remaining in a state of flux.

Left tackle Ty Sambrailo returned to practice Wednesday for his first on-field work since he injured his shoulder in the second half of the Sept. 27 win at Detroit. But he was limited to individual drills in practice, and will be brought back cautiously, which could lead to another week of Ryan Harris and Tyler Polumbus splitting the work at left tackle.

“He did all of the individual, did some punching and all of those types of things,” head coach Kubiak said. “We’re hoping that (Thursday) is better. We’ll keep going day-to-day and see if we put the pads on (Thursday).”

Because Kubiak wants to see where Sambrailo stands after more extensive work, he doesn’t want to commit to playing him. But if he does insert him into the lineup Sunday, it will not be for the entire game.

“If he’s ready to go, I think that we’ll probably do some platooning over there because I don’t think that he’d be ready to go back and play 70 plays,” Kubiak said.

Guards Louis Vasquez and Evan Mathis also received a day off from practice Wednesday, although they are expected to play Sunday.

–It would seem logical that the Broncos rest outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and give him 20 days to recover from the back spasms that forced him to be carted from the field Sunday, but head coach Gary Kubiak did not want to close the door on his potential return for the Browns game.

“I think that we’re in a day-to-day process. I know that there are a lot of reports out there, but I can tell you this, he looks really good (Wednesday),” Kubiak said.

According to those reports, the Broncos would rest Ware for a week, giving him extra time off to ensure his readiness for the Packers game on Nov. 1. Part of the rationale for that is the fact that the Broncos still got plenty of pressure off the edge on Derek Carr without Ware, finishing the 16-10 win with four sacks.

Still, Kubiak acknowledged that the upcoming bye could play an impact.

“I think that it could at the end of the week when you’re trying to make a decision, if you know that he could get another two weeks rest. I think that it could be part of that, but a guy like him is going to push it to the limit to play,” Kubiak said. “That’s what he’s going to do. We’ll do the right thing. We got good work today.

“Those other four guys (outside linebackers Von Miller, Shaquil Barrett, Shane Ray and Lerentee McCray) practiced well, so we’ll get them ready to go.”

Notes: Quarterback Peyton Manning received a rest day for the fourth consecutive Wednesday. This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as the Broncos try to get him as much rest as possible. … Wide receiver Cody Latimer returned to practice Wednesday after missing the Raiders game because of a groin injury. Latimer is still looking for his first reception of the season. … Cornerback Aqib Talib is day-to-day after having his ankle rolled on during the win at Oakland. Talib was on the practice field Wednesday, but did not take part in any drills. … Running back Juwan Thompson did not practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury he suffered against the Raiders. Kubiak would like to get Thompson more snaps, but injuries keep preventing that.


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