ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** The injury news could have been worse for the Broncos a day after their 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Running back Montee Ball emerged with a re-straining of the groin that he first injured in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals, tight end Julius Thomas suffered a sprained ankle and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will go through the post-concussion protocol after being hit in the third quarter Sunday.
Thomas said Monday that he is "day-to-day," and that the injury is nothing like the one he suffered in Week 2 of the 2011 season, which led to two years of pain and stops and starts in his recovery before his breakout 2013.
"I guess they're all just a little different, but I'll be okay," he said. "I was pretty confident it wasn't like that last one," said Thomas. "I just wanted to make sure (team medical personnel) had a chance to look at it. I wasn't anticipating it being something that ended my season or anything."
At running back and wide receiver, the Broncos have enough depth to withstand any potential absences, thanks to the emergence of running back C.J. Anderson, and the presence of explosive rookie Cody Latimer and veteran Andre Caldwell as backup receivers. Latimer was inactive Sunday, but if Sanders does not clear the protocol by next week, he could return next week and perhaps contribute to the offense.
Tight end will bear monitoring this week, since Virgil Green did not practice last week because of a calf injury and has now missed three consecutive weeks as a result. Nevertheless, when asked about the impact of injuries at the position, Head Coach John Fox declined to chalk up any issues at any position to injuries.
"We're not making excuses. When you lose the likes of Emmanuel, Montee and Julius, it doesn't help the cause," Fox said. "But we all get paid to win games, whether you're a backup or starter, and we had opportunities. There were plays left on the field, and we've got to improve from that."