ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Cornerback Champ Bailey returned to the field last week at Kansas City after missing the previous four weeks with a foot injury that also forced him out of the Broncos' first five games.
Bailey' participation was limited to just 30 snaps, as the plan was to ease him back into action.
"I'm better. I think it was a good test last week to see where I was," Bailey said. "I'm obviously not where I want to be. It's just trying to be patient with it."
Once Bailey got to the point where he knew his foot had enough for the day, he left the game and did not return.
Not being able to finish the game was something that Bailey said frustrated him, but was something he knew is in his and the team's best long-term interest.
"Of course it is frustrating," he said. "But it is what it is. I can handle it like I handle most things – just a little bit of patience."
Bailey said he didn't expect the injury to require offseason surgery.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "It is a thing that has healed pretty good. I'm just not confident in it yet. That's pretty much what it boils down to."
Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio knows that Bailey isn't 100 percent, but said that he expects continued improvement out of the 12-time Pro Bowler.
"Clearly he was a little bit rusty in terms of not feeling comfortable and being at his best," Del Rio said. "He's an excellent football player but everybody needs to sharpen their skills to stay on top and so he's not different than anybody else in that regard and we expect him to be a week better."