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Bailey: 'I'm Definitely Close'

Posted Sep 20, 2013

Cornerback Champ Bailey said he'll "hopefully" be ready to play Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Champ Bailey isn't at 100 percent.

"But I'm definitely close," he said after Friday's practice. "Very close."

Head Coach John Fox still described the veteran cornerback as "day-to-day," and said that when the team feels Bailey is ready to play, he'll play.

Bailey, who was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday's practices, said he'll "hopefully" be ready to play by Monday against the Oakland Raiders.

"If I keep progressing like I am and having days like this -- another successful day -- I'll be ready," he said.

The past two practices have been Bailey's first of the regular season after injuring his foot in the team's second preseason game.

Bailey said his injury was "very similar" to the one that sent Ryan Clady to injured reserve, but Clady's was more severe. Bailey will be able to return this season, while Clady's 2013 campaign was cut short.

"It wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the good news is that I can play this year," Bailey said, admitting that he doesn't think the pain is "ever going anywhere." "Barring any setbacks, I’ll be out there as soon as possible.”

"It's just all about when I feel good about going back out there."

Whether or not Bailey suits up Monday, Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said it's been "nice to have Champ back," even on the practice field.

And in the meantime, the 12-time Pro Bowler has been pleased with the way his teammates in the secondary have stepped up in his absence.

Cornerbacks Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and safety Rahim Moore have all secured an interception -- Harris has two.

"I couldn't ask them to play any better," Bailey said.

He knows the defense will need more of the same Monday night when facing a mobile quarterback in Oakland's Terrelle Pryor.

"You might get some timing routes here and there, but for the most part he's going to be scrambling and trying to make plays when things break down or he doesn't like what he sees," Bailey said. "We're aware of it and we've played guys like this before. We just have to make sure that we're disciplined."