ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Entering last week's game against the Chargers, wide receiver Andre Caldwell had made six catches in his 21 games since joining the Broncos as a free agent prior to the 2012 season.
That number doubled last Thursday, as he finished with a game-high six catches for 59 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"I thought 'Bubba' Caldwell played really well," quarterback Demaryius Thomas said. "Had a great route on that first touchdown and did a good job getting into the end zone on kind of a pattern—a play he really hasn't repped that much. And so it's a good job of him knowing what to do."
Caldwell saw extended action with the absence of wide receiver Wes Welker, who missed the game with a concussion.
Even though Caldwell knew he might see more snaps as a result of Welker's absence, that didn't change the way he prepared for the game.
"I'm definitely ready for the challenge," Caldwell said. "This is what I prepare for all year. I prepare like the starter. You never know when your opportunities are going to come and you just have to make the most of them."
With Welker's status for this week's game in question after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday, Caldwell said he'd be ready if called upon again.
"I'll just go out there and do what I've been doing – working hard every day," he said. "If the ball comes my way, do my best to make a play. I just want to win the ballgame so I'm going to do whatever they want me to."
Now that Caldwell is in his second season with Manning at quarterback, he said he's noticed an improvement in both his timing and comfort-level with the offense.
"My comfort level has gone up tremendously since last year," Caldwell said. "Being in there, getting those reps in the game and in practice, makes you more confident. I feel like I'm one of the guys and I can go out there and make plays every week."