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Denver Broncos - PlayerWatch


-- QB Peyton Manning practiced Monday and Wednesday. He continues recovering from an ankle injury that has not cost him any playing time but did keep him from practicing on Oct. 23, four days before Denver's win over Washington, and for the two practices leading into the Broncos' bye week.

-- TE Julius Thomas returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing three practices following the ankle injury he suffered Oct. 27 against Washington. Thomas dealt with complications from a slow-to-heal high ankle sprain for nearly two full seasons before finally getting healthy late last year, but this injury is not similar. He worked out with a team trainer during Monday's practice.

-- DE Shaun Phillips will play his first game in San Diego since leaving as a free agent this past offseason. Phillips leads the Brncos with 6.5 sacks and ranks second on the team with eight quarterback hits.

-- WR Wes Welker was held out of Wednesday's practice because of an ankle problem. He has been held of practice on the last three Wednesdays, but has yet to miss any playing time.

-- G Chris Kuper practiced Wednesday after missing the previous three practices, as well as the Oct. 27 win over Washington. Kuper has been dealing with ankle problems since fracturing his leg and tearing ankle ligaments on Jan. 1, 2012.

-- C J.D. Walton was placed on the 53-man roster after practicing the last three weeks following a stint on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Walton has not played since Sept. 30, 2002, when he fractured his ankle against the Raiders. He underwent a second surgery on the ankle in June, which forced him to the sideline until the last three weeks.

-- S Duke Ihenacho was on the practice field Wednesday, but did not take part in the two-hour session. Ihenacho has sat out four consecutive practices because of an ankle injury suffered in the first half on Oct. 27.

-- OT Orlando Franklin returned to practice Wednesday after being held out of the last three practices last Tuesday, Wednesday and this Monday. He played Oct. 27 against Washington after missing the Indianapolis game with sprains in his left knee and ankle.

-- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has not allowed a touchdown pass in the last three games and leads the Broncos with 11 passes defensed this year. Rodgers-Cromartie has assumed a more prominent role as the Broncos' No. 1 cornerback since Champ Bailey's foot injury.

-- G/C John Moffitt left the Broncos this week and plans to retire from football. Moffitt, who had been a backup since the Broncos traded for him during the preseason, tweeted Tuesday that he's "on to new things" after two-plus seasons in the league, spent mostly with Seattle.

-- CB Champ Bailey worked out with a team trainer during practices Monday and Wednesday. He has not played or practiced since suffering a re-aggravation of his foot sprain on Oct. 20 at Indianapolis. He hopes to return this week, but the Broncos could opt for caution, as he has struggled with the injury since Aug. 17.

-- CB Kayvon Webster looks likely to play a significant role Sunday if Champ Bailey remains sidelined with a foot injury. Webster has emerged as the Broncos' third cornerback in recent weeks and has an interception and a forced fumble in the last four games.