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Broncos Injury Update: Ray sits out; Manning throwing as practice begins


Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer attended practice on Wednesday as the team continued to prepare for the Packers.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For the first time since Week 1, Peyton Manning took part in a Wednesday practice as the Broncos continued their preparations for Sunday night's showdown with the Green Bay Packers.

Manning took approximately half of the repetitions in Wednesday's practice, Head Coach Gary Kubiak said.

From Week 3 onward, the team had held Manning out of the Wednesday sessions, opting to rest the 18-year veteran quarterback. He was on hand for each of the practices and wore a helmet, but was listed as "Did Not Practice - Not Injury Related" for those sessions.


But in the wake of the Week 7 bye, Head Coach Gary Kubiak felt that Manning received enough of a respite to get some Wednesday on-field work this week.

"We've had a lot of time on our hands [during the bye]," Kubiak said. "We'll go ahead and go full this week, and then get back in our routine next week."

As was the case for Monday's practice, OLB Shane Ray (MCL sprain in his right knee) was the only Bronco not on the field when Wednesday's practice began.

LT Ty Sambrailo (shoulder), LG Evan Mathis (hamstring), OLB DeMarcus Ware (back), CB Aqib Talib (ankle) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (shoulder) all practiced on a limited basis.

Of that list, Sambrailo has missed the most time, sitting out three games since being injured in the second half at Detroit on Sept. 27. Kubiak has eased him back into work over the last two weeks, but Thursday's practice "will be the big test for him," he said.

"It'll be full speed [Thursday]. We'll be in pads and he'll get his one-on-one [work]," Kubiak added. "So it's a big test for him [Thursday] if he's going to be able to go back and go. So we'll see where we're at [Thursday]."

Kubiak and the Broncos also welcomed a special visitor: former starting quarterback Jake Plummer. Plummer and Kubiak chatted as practice began.

Plummer had the best seasons of his career working under Kubiak, whose 11-season tenure (1995-2005) as Broncos offensive coordinator overlapped with three of Plummer's four Broncos seasons.


During 2003-06, Plummer went 40-18 as the Broncos' starting quarterback, including 33-14 with Kubiak as his coordinator, and his quarterback rating with Kubiak was 19.1 points higher than it was in the rest of his career.

"He's 'The Snake.' He still looks like 'The Snake,' huh? He needs to put some weight on," Kubiak said, smiling. "But it's good to see him. He's a hell of a player, and a great friend.

"I'll tell you what, there wasn't a better teammate I ever saw in my career -- how he was to his teammates, and how he played, and how hard he played. He did a great job for me, I know that."

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