ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Peyton Manning sat out for a second consecutive day as he focuses on recovering from the thigh injury he suffered against San Diego on Dec. 14.
"(I'm) trying to take advantage of the time and spend some time trying to get to feeling better," said Manning. "I know a lot of guys have done the same thing. A number of guys didn't practice and hopefully that serves us well. Everybody's ready to go once we get back to practice next week."
The roster of players who did not practice Wednesday included four starters: left guard Orlando Franklin, linebacker Brandon Marshall and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. Sanders and Thomas were on the field, but not in their helmets for a second consecutive day.
Safety David Bruton Jr. and running back Juwan Thompson also did not practice Wednesday.
Bruton and Franklin are in the NFL's post-concussion protocol. Thompson, Sanders, Thomas and Marshall all have various injuries that landed them on the injury report in recent weeks. Marshall has not practiced since he sprained his foot on Dec. 14.
Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said that Marshall, Bruton and safety T.J. Ward are "doing well in terms of healing." Ward has practiced every day since suffering a neck strain at Cincinnati on Dec. 22, but did not play against Oakland.
Wednesday's work was the Broncos' last until they reconvene Sunday for meetings and weightlifting/conditioning sessions.
The team focused on fundamentals and self-improvement in the two days of practice this week.
"We tackled both days even though we're in shorts. We were working on the fundamentals of tackling, leveraging," Del Rio said, "some of the fundamentals that we've been good at that have given us a chance to be good on defense."
The offensive focus was on "general offense" concepts, Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase said.
"A lot of the stuff that we focus on is just our general rules as far as what we do, whether it be protections, run game or route concepts," Gase said. "It's not one thing that I could say that we've focused on to say, 'We're going to get better,' but we try to make sure we hit a good amount of stuff as far as what's going on with our offense."
As for whether Manning will practice next week, "I'd say it would be safe to say, 'Yes,'" Head Coach John Fox replied when asked.
Do you have a question for Andrew Mason? Ask it here and you might be in this week's Mailbag!
While some veterans took it easy at practice on Wednesday, Tyke Tolbert got a few reps.