ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is expected to play Sunday after suffering a lower-calf bruise against the Giants, but he was among the players who did not practice Wednesday as the Broncos began preparing for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Head Coach Vance Joseph said Thomas "needed one more day to get it right," and that he should practice Thursday.
Thomas was joined on the sideline by wide receiver Cody Latimer and inside linebacker Brandon Marshall. Latimer has missed the last two games because of a knee injury, while Marshall is dealing with a sore shoulder.
"It was sore Sunday, and it bothered his tackling," Joseph said. "So we'll have to see how he progresses this week, to see if he's going to play for us or not, but if he's sore and can't tackle, he cannot play."
Joseph said Marshall suffered the injury "about two weeks ago."
"He just played through it, but it was obvious he was sore on Sunday night," Joseph said. "He just couldn't finish tackles. So hopefully he gets better so he can play."
Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (sprained right ankle) and Isaiah McKenzie (sprained right ankle), right tackle Menelik Watson (calf), quarterback Paxton Lynch (right shoulder) were also sidelined because of injuries.
Tight end Jake Butt and outside linebacker Shane Ray made their 2017 regular-season practice debuts, as expected. Ray can practice for the next two weeks, but is not eligible to come off injured reserve until just before the Broncos face the Chiefs on Oct. 30.
"He's not in football shape, but he worked hard today," Joseph said.
Butt, who is on the non-football-injury list, now enters a window of up to 21 days that the Broncos will have to evaluate his progress and recovery from a torn ACL suffered in last December's Orange Bowl. The Broncos can choose to activate him to the 53-man roster during that window; if they pass on that option, he will remain on the non-football injury list for the rest of the season.
"Jake Butt looked great," Joseph said. "He looked tall, he looked fast, he caught the ball well. Obviously he hasn't played football, so he's out of shape, but he's definitely getting better every day as far as getting in football shape. Hopefully we can get him up soon."
Joseph said that Butt would "probably" not be ready to play this week, but could be ready "any day."
Cornerback Aqib Talib, nose tackle Domata Peko Sr., running back Jamaal Charles received veterans' rest days, as they have on previous Wednesdays.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian also practiced with no restrictions Wednesday. He said his left shoulder still has a little soreness, but it did not affect his work. He is expected to play against the Chargers.