ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --If the Broncos are to reverse their recent run of results, they'll need better play from the offensive line Sunday in Kansas City.
"There's a lot of things to be pointed out, and I'll just say we point it out with them," said Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison. "And we'll get 'em right. We keep working, and we keep trying to get 'em right, and we're not getting it done. At times you can see it, and at other times, you're not.
"We'll just leave it at that."
The line will have to improve without C.J. Anderson, who has been on injured reserve since Week 8 but isn't expected back to full strength until February. That's where the news from Wednesday begins.
- ANDERSON TO BEGIN RUNNING IN COMING WEEKS**
But the Broncos' struggling running game won't get a late-season injection of carries from him.
Anderson could run "in the next two weeks," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said, but with a February target for full recovery from a torn meniscus in his knee, the injured running back is not expected to return this season, even if the Broncos return to the Super Bowl.
"We miss him," Kubiak said of Anderson, who remains the team leader in rushing touchdowns this season with four.
Kubiak added that he met with Anderson on Tuesday.
"When you sit down with C.J., you don't talk much; you listen," Kubiak said.
"C.J.'s a good kid. I think sometimes when you have to sit back and watch, you realize how special playing is to you, and I think that's kind of what happened to him. But he's excited to get back to work."
- HEATED EXCHANGES ARE PART OF A FAMILY**
And that's why there appeared to be no deep concern over the post-game exchange between Aqib Talib and Russell Okung, as first reported by NFL Network's Michael Silver.
"Guys are emotional. They care a lot about this team," QB Trevor Siemian said. "They care a lot about winning. Good thing we've got some grown-ups on our team. I think we've put it behind us pretty quick. Not a big issue for us."
Added safety Darian Stewart: "I haven't met one family that doesn't argue."
And such exchanges happen far more frequently than are reported -- even in last year's championship season.
"It happened a lot last year. We won, so you guys [the media] didn't want to talk about that," he said.
That continued into this year. "Me and T.J. [Ward], we argue every Wednesday and Thursday to get our game plan right. It's just part of what me and T.J. do. It's working for us," Talib said, later modifying "argue" to "debate."
"You just kind of go back and forth until you kind of get your point across. Then we come to a conclusion, and we're going to play the coverage this way. It's 50-50."
Talib also felt that too much was made of the verbal jousting between himself and Okung, noting that the two "had some good laughs" together at Chris Harris Jr.'s charity event Monday night.
"I argue with my mother, and she still makes me breakfast," Talib said. "It's part of football. It wasn't even an argument."
- ALTERNATE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR STEWART**
There's a real chance that Stewart could still earn his first Pro Bowl selection after being named an alternate Tuesday, but he was still rankled that he was not chosen to the AFC roster for the annual all-star game -- even though it was his best career showing in the voting.
"I definitely felt as a competitor that I should have been one of the first names off the board," Stewart said. "It is what it is, and you've got to keep playing."
"There's guys who get snubbed every year, and then somehow, one way or another, they make their way into there," Talib said. "It'll go on their resume as a Pro Bowl, one way or another, they'll be in there."
Kubiak felt that all of his players that were named alternates should have been selected for the Pro Bowl roster.
"We had some other guys that we naturally felt like deserved to be there," Kubiak said. "Our two safeties have been special all year long. Our two receivers [Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders], playing with a first-year quarterback, in my opinion, have played extremely well."
The Broncos got back to work Wednesday at the UCHealth Training Center as they prepare for a crucial road game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photos by Eric Bakke)
- THE DYNAMIC DUO**
Not since Cleveland's Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon earned three consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1986-88 has a team's cornerback duo earned Pro Bowl nods in three consecutive seasons as Talib and Harris have.
Last year, they became the first cornerback pair in the free-agency era (which began in the 1993 season) to earn consecutive Pro Bowl nods together.
"Man, we're trying to run our numbers up," Talib said. "We're trying to set the record. We're going to do our research and see who got the most, and then we're going to try to beat them.
"Me and Chris, we're trying to set all the records that we can as a duo."
- ON THE ROAD ON CHRISTMAS**
Being away from families from mid-day Christmas Eve through the entirety of Christmas Day is not an ideal situation, but it's the hand the NFL schedule-makers dealt the Broncos.
"I wish it was on another day, but it's Sunday. [Christmas] happens to fall on that day, but I'm looking forward to it," said Stewart.
Kubiak said the team will have a holiday dinner while on the road, but added that being selected to play on Christmas is "an honor."
"If you're in this business, you're going to play on some holidays. I played on Thanksgiving quite a few times, played on Christmas a few times," Kubiak said. "We're excited about it."
It's the Broncos' first Christmas Day game since a 37-16 win at Tennessee in 2004. Denver also played on the holiday in 1999, defeating the Detroit Lions 17-7.
"It just makes Christmas even more special," Talib said.