In one of the most anticipated games of this NFL week five, The Denver Broncos will travel to Foxboro to meet the New England Patriots. Although this will be a tough task to leave with their third win of this young season, the Broncos just may have a bit more help than they thought was possible.
Denver OG Chris Kuper, who since last week has been limited in practice since breaking his forearm in August, finally had a full practice on Thursday. This is the most welcome of all surprises for the Broncos who could use Kuper’s experience and stability on the offensive line. If Kuper gets the nod from the doctors and Head Coach John Fox on Sunday, he will replace Manny Ramirez who was solid last week, but in all other games has been inconsistent with blocking and penalties.
Peyton Manning could use the extra protection being that he will need the extra time in the pocket in order to keep up with the high scoring Pats. Kuper would be the final piece to this offensive line puzzle that has been a long time in the making.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos were able to see Nate Irving practice fully for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Houston Texans. Irving is a quality linebacker who is a good change of pace that can spell Von Miller for a play or two on the strong side. He does not have the ability of Miller or Wesley Woodyard, but he can cover in pass coverage and is usually quick to the ball.
WR Matt Willis also practiced for the first time in a couple of days after straining his hamstring. I expect that Andre Caldwell will start for Willis this week. Willis and Irving are still listed as questionable, while Kuper is listed as doubtful. One thing I am sure of is that if there is any way for Kuper to get on that field in such an important game, he will find a way.
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