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Denver Broncos Week 12 Injury Report: DeMarcus Ware ruled out for pivotal game

Dennis Best Avatar
November 27, 2015


This Sunday night’s game is the ultimate test for the Denver Broncos. The defending Super Bowl champions and hated, rival New England Patriots travel to the Mile High City Sunday to take on young quarterback Brock Osweiler and the league’s No. 1 defense. Unfortunately, Denver will be going toe-to-toe with the undefeated champs without a key part to that defense, veteran linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Ware was ruled out early Friday afternoon for the Sunday Night Football showdown after it was revealed his lower back injury was still bothering him. “I think the right time is when you’re comfortable enough to get out there and do what you do best, and that’s rush the passer and make plays,” Ware said Friday after coming off the practice field. “I’m not at that point yet.

“You could say it was a progression,” Ware continued. “I’m just getting ready to start trying to get to the field, start doing my field work and getting more comfortable.” Ware was also optimistic about returning soon as well, eying Wednesday as a possible time to return. “I’m just trying to get back as soon as possible.”

With Ware being ruled out, Shaquil Barrett will get the start instead. And don’t be surprised to see rookie standout Shane Ray once again help fill in for the absent 9-year veteran. Barrett has played well this season in Ware’s absence, with 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, while Ray has accumulated two sacks and six tackles, despite missing three games himself with a sprained MCL.

The defensive side of the ball was not the only side with ailing position players last week. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders missed last week’s game against the Chicago Bears with an ankle injury.

After a productive week of practice, Sanders will suit up Sunday night.

“I’m good,” the veteran wideout stated after practice Friday. “My ankle feels good. I practiced all week. I started off on Wednesday and finally got a full week under my belt. It felt good to do that. I think that I’m mentally and physically prepared for the game.”

Sanders was a game-time decision for last Sunday at Soldier Field, but ultimately decided to sit the contest out; Sanders believes it was a good decision. “Honestly, that was a tough decision because I haven’t missed a game in like three years, but I think that it was the best decision for me and for the team. I had an opportunity to rest, we won the ball game and now I feel really good.”

Guard Evan Mathis will be a game-time decision Sunday against the Patriots. Head coach Gary Kubiak has been watching his progress closely. “He looked good. I need to go back and take a peek,” Kubiak explained. “I think it’s a game-time decision with Evan. We’ll probably work him out before the game, but he’s made up a lot of ground. He started slow with the week and ended the week pretty well, so we’ll see.”

If Mathis cannot compete Sunday, Max Garcia would fill the void. Kubiak seems to have no problem with the young rookie starting. “You know what; I have a lot of confidence in him. He’s kind of a lot like Brock Osweiler in a lot of ways. He’s been working really hard. I know he’s a first-year player, but if you go back, remember there was a time where Max was a starter for us near the end of camp. Then we got Evan and now Max has played a lot of football at various places, so I think that there is some experience there. This would be a tough assignment to draw with his first start, but he’s been working really hard to do it and he’s had a good week of practice.”

This Sunday night will go a long way in determining the playoff seeding of both the Broncos and Patriots as AFC powers. Here’s a look at the full injury reports:

Name Position Injury Wed. Thu. Fri. Game Status
Daniels, Owen TE Knee LP LP FP probable
Green, Virgil TE Finger FP FP FP probable
Harris, Ryan T Knee FP FP FP probable
Manning, Peyton QB Foot DNP DNP DNP Out
Mathis, Evan G Ankle DNP DNP LP questionable
Paradis, Matt C Finger FP FP FP probable
Sanders, Emmanuel WR Ankle/Finger LP LP FP probable
Schofield, Michael T Finger FP FP FP probable
Smith, Antonio DE Hip FP FP FP probable
Walker, Vance DE Shoulder LP LP FP probable
Ware, DeMarcus OLB Back DNP DNP DNP Out


Credit: Denver Broncos
Credit: Denver Broncos

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