ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The only injury to update from Sunday's 36-14 win at Carolina was the shoulder injury that knocked defensive end Elvis Dumervil out of the game.
In the first half, Dumervil spun past the offensive tackle and stuck his left arm out to strip the ball from the hand of quarterback Cam Newton. It was his fifth forced fumble of the season, a career high for Dumervil.
After that play, however, Dumervil left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Head Coach John Fox spoke to the media on Monday and provided an update on the Broncos' team captain.
"The MRI proved negative," Fox said. "It's a muscle strain, so that was good news."
Fox called it "day-to-day" and plans to provide another update after Wednesday's practice.
In Dumervil's absence, defensive end Robert Ayers saw an opportunity for increased playing time and didn't let it fall to the wayside. The fourth-year defensive end tied a career high with five tackles and set a new career high with two pass deflections.
He also came just two yards from a safety, as he wrapped up Newton for his first sack of the year when the Panthers were backed up in their own territory. A play later, Mike Adams finished the job and sacked Newton in the end zone for the safety.
Fox was more than pleased with Ayers' performance.
"Sometimes, it's unlikely heroes," he said. "I thought Robert did an outstanding job stepping in when Elvis went down and his role got bigger for that particular game. That's all part of being a team. Like I said, he had probably one of his better outings since I've been here."
AN EARLY HOLLIDAY GIFT
After fielding a first-half punt and returning it 76 yards to the house, wide receiver Trindon Holliday is now the only player in the NFL to return both a kickoff and a punt return for a touchdown in 2012.
"It feels great to be able to come back and do it back-to-back games," Holliday said. "To be able to come out and help this team as much as possible is good for me."
If Holliday is able to find the end zone for a third time this year, he has specific instructions from the Broncos coaching staff on what to do after crossing the goal line.
"He's got full instructions from Jeff Rodgers, our Special Teams Coach, to bring the ball all the way back to him," Fox said. "Bring it to the sideline, hand it to your coach."
That comes as a result of Holliday dropping the ball before crossing the goal line, as the NFL confirmed on Monday in admittance to the officials' mistake.
After the game, Holliday said he wasn't sure if he crossed the goal line without the ball, but he was already aware of the new rule.
"Coach told me next time I cross the goal line, just bring him the football so I make sure I cross the line with it," he said.
His back-to-back special-teams touchdowns in the last two games have gave the Broncos momentum swings.
His touchdown that opened the second half of Week 9 also gave a fan a brand new car, thanks to a promotion from GMC that will continue to run throughout the year on DenverBroncos.com/GMC.
The contest works like this: if the Broncos bring either the opening kickoff of either half back for a touchdown, then a winner is selected to win a 2013 GMC Acadia.
That's exactly what Holliday did, and now a Broncos fan has a new Acadia to show for it. The contest will run until the feat happens for a second time, at which point the offer expires.
In addition to the special-teams distinctions, Week 10's victory coupled with the Falcons' loss means that he is the only player in the league who has played in nine games and won every single one of them.
Holliday started his season with the Houston Texans, who went 5-0 during that span. Since coming to Denver, the team is 4-0, making Holliday the only 9-0 player in the league this year.
MILLER'S BIG DAY
Linebacker Von Miller's season stat line after the Carolina game is eye-popping. His 21 tackles for loss are first in the NFL, three better than the next player in that category - Houston's J.J. Watt -- and he is second in the league in sacks with 10, a half sack behind the leader - also Watt.
According to Pro Football Focus, Miller has 30 quarterback hurries - more than triple the amount of any other 4-3 linebacker.
After wreaking havoc in Carolina's backfield throughout the afternoon, his name has come up in Defensive Player of the Year Award considerations.
At least one person thinks Miller has earned that distinction through Week 10.
"Von has probably been the best defensive player of the year so far and he has picked his game up," said fellow linebacker D.J. Williams, who will return to action on Sunday. "A lot of energy and a lot of knowledge to the game."
Coach Fox spoke to Miller's work ethic and improvement on Monday, saying that the second-year linebacker "continues to get better."
"Von's gotten off to a great start, no question," Fox said. "He's obviously a very gifted athlete. He's a great young man and he's not afraid to work hard. Nothing much he does surprises me."