By Mark Schiff
Last week, the Broncos knocked the Patriots from the ranks of the unbeaten without their starting quarterback and arguably their best defensive player. This week, they’ll have to take on the San Diego Chargers down two more stars.
Safety T.J. Ward (ankle), nose tackle Sylvester Williams (ankle) and Peyton Manning (foot) will remain behind in Denver after being ruled out of Sunday’s road game in San Diego, according to the team’s Week 13 injury report. Ward and Williams were injured on the same play in Sunday’s game against New England and are expected to miss this week’s game at a minimum.
As for outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (back), the star pass-rusher practiced on a limited basis all week long but head coach Gary Kubiak decided to hold him out for one more week.
“I just want to make sure when I come back I come back blazing,” Ware told reporters on Thursday. Next week’s home game against the Oakland Raiders should be Ware’s first game since November 8, when he re-aggravated his back injury against the Colts.
Two offensive players are on the listed on the injury report as questionable. Guard Louis Vasquez (groin) left last week’s game and was limited in two practices this week. And wide receiver Bennie Fowler (ankle) returned to practice Friday after missing the team’s first two sessions.
A pair of players missed Wednesday’s practice session to welcome their babies and turn up on the injury report for academic reasons. Wide receiver Cody Latimer and inside linebacker Corey Nelson both get probable designations after becoming new fathers to a boy and girl, respectively.
As usual, the Broncos have a slew of players listed as probable against the Chargers, mostly notably quarterback Brock Osweiler (quadriceps) who should be fine for Sunday’s game after practicing in full all week.
As for the Chargers, they’ll again be thin on the offensive line as guard D.J. Fluker (concussion) and tackle King Dunlap (ankle) have been ruled out.
Check out the Broncos full Week 13 injury report below. Denver kicks off against San Diego from Qualcomm Stadium (for the last time?) at 2:05pm on Sunday, right here on CBS4 Denver.
Owen Danierls, Tight End (knee)
Lorenzo Doss, Cornerback (illness)
Virgil Green, Tight End (finger)
Ryan Harris, Tackle (knee)
Ronnie Hillman, Running Back (tooth)
Cody Latimer, Wide Receiver (not injury-related)
Evan Mathis, Guard (ankle)
Corey Nelson, Inside Linebacker (not injury-related)
Brock Osweiler, Quarterback (quadricep)
Matt Paradis, Center (ankle/finger)
Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver (ankle/finger)
Michael Schofield, Tackle (finger)
Bennie Fowler, Wide Receiver (ankle)
Louis Vasquez, Guard (groin)
Peyton Manning, Quarterback (foot)
T.J. Ward, Safety (ankle)
DeMarcus Ware, Outside Linebacker (back)
Sylverster Williams, Nose Tackle (ankle)
Mark Schiff is a freelance writer and music journalist for AXS.com. In 2013, his coverage of the Seattle Seahawks ended in heartbreak when they defeated the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Now covering his beloved hometown team, his knowledge and passion for pro football has resulted in multiple fantasy football championships. Find him on Twitter at @mihilites.