ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –The Broncos are getting ready for their second Thursday night game of the season, only this time it means just three days of preparation instead of an entire off season.
That short turnover can prove especially troublesome for players trying to recover from injuries.
"It's a challenge for both teams and certainly we knew it was on the schedule and is a real discipline by each player to get themselves physically ready to play," quarterback Peyton Manning said Tuesday. "Get your rest, at the same time trying to study your opponent getting ready to play them.
"But there's no question it's a challenge."
Manning went on to say that the disadvantage lies in the recovery time, saying that an injured player would have a better chance of being fully recovered by Sunday as opposed to Thursday.
The time crunch obviously changes the practice routine. Normally, Tuesday is the players' off day but the players had Monday off this week and practiced Tuesday.
Executive Vice President of Football Operations said in his weekly podcast with Chris Hall of Broncos TV, that Fox's preparation on short weeks is mostly mental instead of physical – allowing maximum time for recovery.
The Thursday night game has its perks as well. It will be the Broncos' sixth game in Primetime this season and it will be played on home turf at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"I kind of like it," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. "It's kind of cool to play on the national stage. The positive thing is that we're playing a team that we're familiar with and it would have been a lot tougher if we were playing a team that we hadn't played before."
Not only does it put the team in the national spot light, a win provides a mini-bye week of sorts. The processes that are rushed before the game are extended after as the team will have 10 days to recover and prepare for the next opponent.
"You don't want to be on the losing end of a Thursday night game, thinking about that for 10 days until the next game," defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "If we do what we're supposed to do, then it will be good to get a little break."