ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --T.J. Ward was back at practice, but Darian Stewart remained sidelined as the Broncos began preparing for Monday night's crucial duel with the 11-3 Bengals.
Ward took part in the individual period of practice and cut on the ankle that he injured in the first quarter of the Nov. 29 game against the New England Patriots.
"He actually did a little scout team [work]," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "I would say it was a good day, and then hopefully we'll push a little bit more [Thursday]. The nice thing is we've got an extra day this week. It was a step in the right direction."
Ward said he wasn't sure whether he would play against the Bengals, but he felt positive about his progress.
"I've been encouraged this whole time," Ward said. "I've been getting better daily and weekly. I'm just trying to keep my positivity up and prepare the same way I've been preparing the whole season."
However, Ward said he would not hurt the team by playing before he was ready.
"As long as I'm up to par or even a little bit beneath that, I'm going to play," he said. "But if I'm going to hurt the team by going out there, I'm not going to do it."
Stewart, who missed last Sunday's game with an injured hamstring, was at practice but watching drills from the sideline and not wearing a helmet.
The Broncos' safety corps remains depleted, even with Ward practicing. Backup Omar Bolden was not at practice; he has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. David Bruton Jr. was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, necessitating the addition of former Vikings, Bengals, Colts and Eagles safety Shaun Prater.
Two other players did not practice Wednesday: QB Peyton Manning and ILB Todd Davis. Manning was already ruled out for next Monday after suffering a setback last week in his recovery from a torn plantar fascia. Davis played through a shoulder injury last week.
Emergency Room Care/ Denver ERs
HealthONE has 12 full-service emergency departments -- seven at our hospitals and five free-standing ERs. These include a Level I Trauma Center (adult and pediatric) at Swedish Medical Center; Level II Trauma Center at The Medical Center of Aurora; and Level III Trauma Center at Sky Ridge Medical Center. AIRLIFE-DENVER is our air medical transport serving facilities in an eight-state region.
The Medical Center of Aurora
[Saddle Rock ER](http://www.auroramed.com/conditionswetreat/emergencytrauma/saddle- rock-er.htm)
Centennial Medical Plaza
North Suburban Medical Center
[North Suburban Northeast ER](http://www.northsuburban.com/conditionswetreat/emergencycare/north east-er.htm)
North Suburban Northwest ER
Presbyterian/ St. Luke's Medical Center
[Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL](http://www.rockymountainhospitalforchildren.com/emergency-room-finder /index.htm)
Rose Medical Center
[Sky Ridge Medical Center](http://www.skyridgemedcenter.com/conditionswetreat/emergency_trauma /)
[Swedish Medical Center](http://www.swedishhospital.com/conditions-we-treat/emergency-services /)
[Swedish Southwest ER](http://www.swedishhospital.com/conditions-we-treat/emergency-services /southwest-er.htm)
The HealthONE System of Hospitals now offers you and your family convenient ways to find the closest HealthONE ER and average wait times. HealthONE's Fast LocatER is our mobile suite of tools that you can take with you on the go.
Text "ER" to 23000
Our 24/7 Emergency Rooms for adult and pediatric patients are prepared to serve your medical emergencies. Get our average ER Wait Times by texting "ER" to 23000. Standard message and data rates may apply.
Prefer to call? Just dial 720-523-3888 and enter your zip code, and you will receive our closest HealthONE ERs.