ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday as the neck injury suffered by safety T.J. Ward turned out to be a strain that will leave him "day-to-day," Head Coach John Fox said.
Ward suffered the injury in a pileup that followed a third-down stop of Bengals running back Giovani Bernard with 8:25 remaining in the fourth quarter Monday.
"It was actually to the side of me, and then Von (Miller) landed on top of me and my head went all the way back," Ward said. "It was just the weight of all the people on my neck."
As Ward lay on the turf, his Broncos teammates dropped to one knee around him and team medical personnel as he was treated. Fox joined his players to check on Ward, who rose and walked to the sideline under his own power before being carted back to the locker room.
"When I went out there, I wasn't sure exactly what was going on," Fox said. "There were some guys there that thought maybe it was collarbone related. So I was thankful that wasn't the case. Obviously when a guy sits up and gets up kind of on his own and walks off the field, you feel much better."
Ward underwent X-rays at Paul Brown Stadium, which were negative. A subsequent MRI examination revealed no further damage.
Ward's injury adds to a roster of walking wounded that has exploded in the last few weeks. Monday night, quarterback Peyton Manning, left tackle Ryan Clady, running back Juwan Thompson, tight end Jacob Tamme, center Will Montgomery, cornerback Kayvon Webster and ride receiver Emmanuel Sanders all played after being limited or out at some point during last week's practices.
Tight end Julius Thomas had his first week of full practice since injuring his ankle Nov. 16 and played 65 percent of the snaps in his second game back, finishing with 33 yards on two receptions, but being on the wrong end of a pass that he and Bengals safety Reggie Nelson grabbed, with Nelson being awarded the interception.
Thomas came up hobbling a bit at the end of his 26-yard reception down the left seam late in the second quarter, but returned.
"I think he performed better than he had up to that point (since the ankle injury), so I think he's improving," Fox said.
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Check out the top shots from the Broncos' Monday night loss to the Bengals.