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Gray Matter Mailbag: Von Miller's Return

Posted Oct 18, 2013

In this week's mailbag, editor Gray Caldwell answers fan questions on Von Miller's return to the field and the expected atmosphere in Indianapolis.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After a brief hiatus -- I apologize, as I was dealing with a family matter -- the Gray Matter mailbag is back.

Thanks as always for your submissions. You can keep them coming all week long on Twitter, just send your questions to @GrayCaldwell using the hashtag #GrayMatter.

There certainly isn't a lack of storylines leading up to Sunday Night Football, so let's get to the mailbag.

Having Bailey back last week had "a calming effect" on the defense, according to Head Coach John Fox. The Broncos cut down on explosive passes and kept the point total down -- 19 points were the fewest allowed so far this season. Bailey said his performance wasn't up to par, but having a game under his belt will help going into Sunday night's matchup. As far as Miller, he said he's in the best shape of his life, and truly you can tell just by looking at him. He's big. He added 15 pounds of muscle while cutting his body fat percentage through a ton of work in the weight room during his suspension. To answer your question, adding two Pro Bowlers back to the defense will have a positive effect. We'll see how Miller plays in his first game back, but he's certainly fired up to get back out on the field. We'll all find out Sunday what kind of impact that will bring.

Good question. Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio -- and plenty of defensive players in the locker room -- pointed out that part of what makes Luck so dangerous is his ability to make plays with his legs, whether it's actually running or just moving around in the pocket to avoid pressure. This year, Aldon Smith got him for a sack when the Colts played the 49ers, Seattle's Bruce Irvin sacked Luck as well and Oakland's Lamarr Houston got one of the Raiders' four sacks in that matchup. The Colts have allowed 13 sacks this season, which is tied for eighth in the league. The Broncos, for reference, lead the NFL as Peyton Manning has been sacked only five times. Luck has been sacked at least once in all six games so far this season, so the opportunity is there -- but it doesn't mean it will be easy.

Nothing to this point. The Broncos have a roster exemption at the moment, but the club must make a move by Saturday, a day before the linebacker will make his 2013 regular-season debut. So a transaction will be coming soon. This week, the team waived linebacker Adrian Robinson, but that was to make room for wide receiver Tavarres King on the active roster.

I wouldn't go that far. Word is that the Colts will honor Manning before the game with a video tribute, and I expect loud fanfare for the player who was Indy's quarterback for 14 years. And it wouldn't be a shock to see a whole lot of No. 18 Colts jerseys in the crowd. But that's all before the game. The first time Manning steps under center and the Colts defenders wave their arms to fire up the crowd, you can bet the Colts fans will oblige. The friendly atmosphere will likely dissipate as soon as the opening kickoff is in the air.

He's listed as doubtful for the game after not participating in practice on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. When Franklin left last week's game with the injury, Chris Kuper was inserted into the linenup and Louis Vasquez moved to right tackle. So the line, from left to right, was Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, Manny Ramirez, Kuper and Vasquez.

On his weekly appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio Monday, Fox said, "If it doesn't work out for Orlando, we'll pretty much go that way."

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