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Top Storylines: Playoff Bye Week

Posted Jan 4, 2014

The Broncos don’t have a game this weekend, but there are still plenty of storylines to follow.

Awaiting an Opponent

The game time has been set, but the opponent has not.

Denver will find out who it plays after the results of this weekend’s Wild Card round.

“Let them fight it out, they have to come to us,” safety Mike Adams said. “They have to come to Denver. Whoever we have to play, let them play, let them fight it out and then we’ll see who we have next week. That’s how I see it.”

As the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Broncos will host the lowest seed of the remaining teams. That means if No. 6 San Diego upsets No. 3 Cincinnati (Sunday, 11:05 a.m. MST), the Chargers will travel to Denver.

If Cincinnati wins that game, Denver will take on the winner of Kansas City at Indianapolis (Saturday, 2:35 p.m. MST).

The Broncos’ Divisional Round game kicks off at 2:40 p.m. MST on Sunday, Jan 12.

Denver has already played all three options for its Divisional Round opponent and has a 3-2 record against those three teams this season. The Broncos are 2-0 against the Chiefs, 1-1 against the Chargers and 0-1 against the Colts.

“Two of the three have beaten us this season, we know that much,” Head Coach John Fox said Monday. “They all present problems. As I mentioned earlier, when you get in the playoffs, they all present problems. That’s typically why you have playoffs. So we’ll just wait and see.

Bye Week Provides Rest, Recovery Time

With a week off between Denver’s Week 17 game at Oakland and the team’s Divisional Round game, players have had time to rest both mentally and physically.

One player who has benefited from that time has been wide receiver Wes Welker, who Head Coach John Fox said has been cleared to return to play.

Welker suffered his second concussion of the season in the team’s Week 14 win vs. Houston and has not played since.

"I think we've taken a lot more action than what we would have had in the past with this whole ordeal," Welker said. "So I feel like we've taken enough time. It will be five weeks from the day when I had any contact at all, so I feel good, I feel fine, I feel ready to go."

Broncos Working on Broncos

Since the Broncos don’t know who their opponent will be for the team’s Divisional-Round matchup next weekend, the team is using its time this week to focus on itself.

"I think you use this time to improve your team, your individual job, your mechanics, those types of things," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "And then, once you find out who it is you’re going to face Sunday afternoon, then you go from there.”

The Broncos practiced on Thursday and Friday this week, using the time on the field to work on aspects of the game that don’t depend on the opponent.

“This is an opportunity to get better,” Fox said. “A lot of people on the outside call it a bye week. To me it’s a get-better week.”