ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **The Broncos will enter 2014 on several days of rest, but their first-round bye in the 2013 AFC playoffs is anything but a week off for players and coaches.
Head Coach John Fox noted* *during his press conference on Monday that players will have a pair of days to rest before returning to the practice field on Thursday.
"I think we're giving them tomorrow and Wednesday off. We'll be back in Thursday," Fox said. "We pretty much have the schedule set for Thursday through Sunday. Sunday we'll definitely be off, Saturday's a possibility depending on how things go Thursday and Friday. Then we'll start into the divisional prep week the following week."
The time off will give players an opportunity to recuperate both physically and mentally after an intense eight-week stretch of football since the bye week – and in preparation for the team's most crucial stretch of football yet.
But while the time away from the field will give the team a breather, tight end Jacob Tamme noted that having a Divisional Round playoff game on the horizon makes it nearly impossible to get football off the mind for very long.
"I'm not sure you shut it down," Tamme said. "But it's good to have a couple of days to just get a little bit of a mental break. You definitely can't turn it all the way off."
Tamme noted that a playoff bye requires a different approach than one during the regular season.
"In the bye week, you have a few more days off and you really kind of shut it off for a little bit and come back kind of recharged," he said. "I don't think we need to really get recharged as much as we just need to focus on what is in front of us. I think guys are ready to commit to do that and give it our best shot."
For cornerback Chris Harris Jr., the week presents an opportunity to prepare his body for enduring the rigors of playoff football.
"Really just stay in shape," Harris Jr. said. "Keep your mind into it. I'm not going to even treat this as a real bye week really. I'm really just focused on what I can do to stay in shape and keep my mind into it and continue to watch film. We'll rest in February—at the end of February."
At the very least, they will get to spend New Year's Day away from the football field. Their time off, however, came with a bit of advice from their head coach.
"We just talked about making good decisions and I used to say, 'I don't want to read about you unless won the lottery.' Now I have to say, 'Unless you have open heart surgery,'" Fox said with a laugh. "So now we have two things."
Ultimately, it's a brief resting point for players to take a deep breath – and to rest their bodies – before the most important push yet begins.
"My legs will probably feel a lot better," safety David Bruton said. "But we had the same situation last year with a bye week. This year, we're definitely not trying to have the same situation happen. We're going to be focused. Guys are going to be watching all three teams play this weekend. We're going to be in the training room, meeting room, getting whatever we need to get to right so we're ready to go and make this run."