The Denver Broncos were all ready going to be short-handed as they take on the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night without starting linebacker Wesley Woodyard. They might be without another starter and another key contributor when the game kicks off.
The Broncos have downgraded guard Chris Kuper from probable to questionable and it will be a game time decision. If Kuper is unable to go, Manny Ramirez would step into the starting lineup. The good news is that Ramirez has played a lot this season with the various injuries to Kuper and will be able to fill in admirably. The Raiders have one of the worst pass rushes in the league, Von Miller, has more sacks (15), than the Raiders have as a team (14). Ramirez and the offensive line for the Broncos will be fine tonight.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley is also a game time decision, but the smart money is on him not playing. The Broncos are not taking tonight’s game for granted but with ten days before they take on the Baltimore Ravens, it makes sense to sit Stokley tonight and get him completely healthy. They were able to move the football on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without Stokley and believe it or not, the Raiders pass defense is worse. The Broncos have plenty of receivers to overcome the loss of Stokley for tonight’s game.
Teams always want to be at full strength for every game but the Broncos need to be smart, and look at the big picture. If they play well, they are going to beat the Raiders. The prudent thing is to rest these guys and get them ready for the Ravens on December 16th.
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