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Broncos Injury Update: DeMarcus Ware returns; Louis Vasquez, T.J. Ward and Sylvester Williams out


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **OLB DeMarcus Ware practiced for the first time since re-injuring his back on Nov. 8 as the Broncos began getting ready for Sunday's game in San Diego.

Ware spent the last three weeks on the game-day inactive list because of the injury, which was a recurrence of the one he suffered Oct. 11 at Oakland that caused him to miss the Week 6 game at Cleveland.

"He took limited reps. He looked fine," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's a day-to-day process. It sure is nice to have him back on the field today. You could feel him out there—his presence. We'll see. [He is] day-to-day, but a good step in the right direction today."


Although the Broncos have maintained a solid pass rush without Ware, he's been missed. In the games he played from start to finish and the portions of the games he didn't finish, the Broncos averaged one sack every 9.30 pass plays. Without him, their sack rate dropped to one every 14.79 pass plays.

Although Ware was back, OL Louis Vasquez, S T.J. Ward and NT Sylvester Williams were sidelined. All of them were injured last Sunday against the Patriots.

Vasquez (groin) watched from the sideline, while Ward and Williams remained inside for practice.

"T.J. is doing great. Sly is probably a little bit ahead of T.J. if I was trying to rank them one and two, but they're both totally committed to rehab right now," Kubiak said. "We'll see how much ground we make up."

QB Peyton Manning also remains in a walking boot and did not practice. His walking cast was removed Tuesday night. He is expected to resume rehabilitation work Saturday.

LG Evan Mathis practiced Wednesday. He played through an ankle injury Sunday after replacing the injured Vasquez.

WR Cody Latimer and ILB Corey Nelson missed practice Thursday to be present for the birth of their children.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak had hoped to give Mathis the Patriots game off, but he said that the veteran starter did not suffer a setback in his recovery by playing.

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