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Broncos injury update: Thomas, Talib return; Ware, Sambrailo out for Sunday

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --OLB DeMarcus Ware and LT Ty Sambrailo were ruled out for Sunday, but WR Demaryius Thomas and CB Aqib Talib both practiced Friday and are questionable for the Broncos' Week 6 trip to Cleveland.

"They were fine," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "Deamryius took a good part of practice, and looked really good. Aqib, same thing. I think they're ready to go."


A neck injury incurred in the Oct. 4 win over the Minnesota Vikings kept Thomas from practicing the previous two days. He played through it against the Oakland Raiders and managed to catch five passes for 55 yards.

"He didn't feel very good when he played last week," Kubiak said Thursday. "He went out there and gave it up for his team and we're trying to get him feeling better."

Talib did not practice Wednesday and Thursday as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered in the second half Sunday when he had it rolled up on by another player.

Ware has not practiced since suffering back spasms against the Raiders will be held out Sunday to give him an extended opportunity to rest. Shaquil Barrett will make his first career regular-season start in his place.

"It hasn't really hit me right now," Barrett said Thursday. "I'm still preparing the same way I usually prepare. But on Sunday, once it happens, I'll probably be a bit more excited.

"People ask me how I feel, and I'm like, 'I really not thinking about it.' But the enthusiasm is going to come Sunday when I actually get out there and get that opportunity."

In addition to Ware, the Broncos practiced Friday without RB Juwan Thompson and LG Evan Mathis. Both are listed as questionable for Sunday.

Thompson worked out with a strength and conditioning coach for a third consecutive day since injuring his hamstring against the Raiders. If he can't play, Kapri Bibbs is expected to be promoted from the practice squad.

"That's a topic we've got to go address here this afternoon," Kubiak said. "I'll just say, like I've said before, that Kapri has prepared to be a part of the game this week. We'll see if we think we need to make the move or not."

Mathis has struggled with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, but has not missed a game-time snap since sitting out three plays in Week 1. He will be a "game-time decision" Sunday, Kubiak said.

"There's some concern. The hamstring has been an issue now for about three weeks. He's trying to play through it," Kubiak said. "We think he's going to be able to go, but we'll see how he wakes up on Sunday."

If Mathis cannot play, rookie Max Garcia will start in his place. Kubiak said that even if Mathis plays, it's possible that Garcia could rotate in for some snaps.

Elsewhere on the offensive line, the Broncos opted to give Sambrailo two more weeks to recover from the shoulder injury he suffered against the Lions on Sept. 27.

"We made progress. The question was if we were going to play him 20-30 plays, was it smart?" Kubiak said. "If we thought he was going to play 20 to 30 plays, we thought it was best to give him two weeks off."

WRs Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler were also upgraded from limited to full participation Friday. Both are listed as probable, along with OT Ryan Harris (knee), DE Kenny Anunike (knee) and S Omar Bolden (foot).

In Cleveland the Browns ruled out safety Dashaun Gipson, cornerback Joe Haden and linebacker Craig Robertson. None of the trio practiced this week.

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