Skip to main content

Denver Broncos | News

Injury updates: Emmanuel Sanders probable; Julius Thomas questionable


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is good to go.

Sanders cleared the NFL's post-concussion protocol late Thursday, and had a full workload during Friday's practice. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

The only issue Sanders had was in his conditioning, because he did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

Champ Bailey was on hand for practice on Friday as Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas returned to the field.

"Obviously, you go through the shortness of breath a little bit not practicing two days, but I felt good," he said. "I'm optimistic about playing on Sunday, and it's a day-to-day thing right now."

Sanders ran routes and caught passes during the opening period of practice, having been cleared for physical activity through the NFL's post-concussion protocol.

The fourth-year wide receiver already passed through the stage where he was cleared for conditioning. He watched the last two days of practice from the sideline, taking mental repetitions.

Although he went through the full battery of post-concussion tests, which included examinations from an independent neurologist, Sanders felt as though he was fine even before the Broncos left St. Louis. But the post-concussion protocol mandates a slower, step-by-step progression before a return to full physical activity.

"Five minutes after the [hit from Rams safety Rodney McLeod Jr.], I felt good," Sanders said. "Obviously, I did the concussion tests, and then they wouldn't let me back in; that was a violent hit, obviously. So they had to do the right thing.

"But I felt good five minutes after the hit was over; I was back to normal and back to being myself. Obviously, we'll see how the rest of tomorrow goes. Hopefully I'll be in there on Sunday, making plays."

Sanders believed it was the first concussion he ever suffered, and said he remembered everything about the play.

"I had a go [route], I had the corner one-on-one, and I had beat the corner, and I was actually open, and I was running, and I laid out for the ball," Sanders said, "and [McLeod] came over and he didn't even look at the ball the entire time, he was just looking at me and ready to hit me."

Tight end Julius Thomas also donned a helmet for Friday's practice, but was listed as not participating and is questionable for Sunday.

"We'll make that decision (on whether he plays Sunday) going forward," Head Coach John Fox said.

Thomas is joined on the "questionable" list by fellow tight end Virgil Green, who was limited all week because of a calf injury. Green has not played since Week 8 against San Diego, leaving the Broncos with just two active tight ends against the Patriots, Raiders and Rams.

Running backs Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman were ruled out for Sunday. Neither practiced all week because of groin and foot injuries, respectively.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.