By Rich Kurtzman
As far as injuries are concerned, 2012 has been a wild and whacky season for Tracy Porter.
The fifth-year cornerback can’t get back from what the Broncos are calling an “illness” on their injury report, something far more serious than it sounds. Porter, who originally missed the game against San Diego with what was labeled as dizziness, was also sidelined for the Sunday Night game versus New Orleans and it surfaced that he endured a seizure. Porter has been at practice, but as a limited participant for the most part, completely sitting out Friday and he didn’t make the trip to Cincinnati with the team. For the cornerback that starts opposite of the venerable Champ Bailey, doctors are trying different medications and trying to get him back to the playing field. But until he’s cleared, nickleback Chris Harris has been promoted to take over his position.
Harris, a second-year secondary man, has truly embraced his new role over the last two weeks, recording 14 tackles while defending four passes and intercepting two more, taking one errant throw from Philip Rivers to the house. The undrafted young man out of Kansas has certainly been a standout. As has new nickleback Tony Carter, as Denver’s depth in the secondary is shining through. In that secondary, Mike Adams is still dealing with a sore knee but he’s played through the pain and will continue to do so. And those young men will have to be on top of their respective games again this Sunday as they face the fast and quick Bengals’ receivers.
Blossoming star A.J. Green will have Bailey on him most of the game, while Harris and Carter will have to cover Andrew Hawkins and Jermaine Gresham. Hawkins, the slot man, is probable to play but could be slowed a bit with a sore knee. Also probable for the Bengals’ offense is center Jeff Faine (hamstring) and backup running back Brian Leonard (ribs), who will both likely play. Cincinnati will be without backup wideout Marvin Jones (knee), but he’s minimally produced so it shouldn’t impact their offense.
For the Broncos’ O, three key players are listed on the injury report; Chris Kuper, Jacob Tamme and Peyton Manning. Kuper, the captain and starting right guard, has battled a fractured forearm all season long and he’ll be able to gut it out, as will Tamme who’s had a sore hip for a few weeks. Most disconcerting to Denver fans is Manning’s thumb injury on his throwing hand—the quarterback cracked his thumbnail on a New Orleans defender’s helmet—and he’s been able to fully practice all week with the thumb taped. He’s shrugged off questions regarding the thumb and there’s no doubt he’ll be behind center for Denver this Sunday.
The Broncos (4-3) play the Bengals (3-4) in Cincinnati at 11 a.m. MT Sunday on CBS.
Guard Chris Kuper (forearm)
Safety Mike Adams (knee)
Tight end Jacob Tamme (hip)
Quarterback Petyon Manning (thumb)
Cornerback Tracy Porter (illness)
Center Jeff Faine (hamstring)
Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (knee)
Running back Brian Leonard (ribs)
Wide receiver Marvin Jones (knee)
Linebacker Dontay Moch (illness)
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Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Find more of Rich’s Denver Broncos pieces on Examiner.com.