Broncos Virgil Green not practicing, but Justin Simmons working with cast on left hand

Green's absence caused by calf injury
Broncos Virgil Green not practicing, but Justin Simmons working with cast on left hand
Posted at 1:42 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 18:32:26-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Jeff Heuerman could play an important role Sunday. This sentence has never been written since the tight end became a Bronco. Seventh months after Denver drafted him, Heuerman has logged zero snaps. A torn ACL washed out his rookie season. A hamstring spoiled offseason mini camps and an ankle injury limited him over the summer.

Heuerman appears healthy if Wednesday's practice is any indication. The former Ohio State standout remains in line to make his debut with Virgil Green dealing with a right calf issue. 

"It's about time," Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman said. "I need to get in there and make some plays. I am excited to get back out there with the guys. It's pretty cool to play there. I have a lot of people coming."

Green hopes to play Sunday in Denver's first road game, but his status remains uncertain. He hurt his leg on an 18-yard reception in the fourth quarter that helped set up the final field goal. He left the locker room in a boot, telling Denver7 he "hoped" to play against the Bengals, but he wasn't sure if will be able to play.

Heuerman and John Phillips represent the only two healthy tight ends. Coach Gary Kubiak believes the team is covered for now, but that could change if Green doesn't improve.

Donald Stephenson will miss this week with a left calf strain. An MRI showed no tear, leaving Stephenson to believe he can start at Tampa Bay on Oct. 2. Ty Sambrailo (right elbow) has been a healthy scratch the past two weeks, but is ready to play. The Broncos have multiple options to address Stephenson's absence. They can start Ty Sambrailo at right tackle and keep Michael Schofield at guard, where he has excelled. It would represent the most seamless change, with only one new player in a new position. Sambrailo started three games at left tackle last season, and worked at right guard and both tackle spots during practice the first two weeks of this season. 

Schofield can play right tackle. He started there 13 games last season, struggling mightily before gaining his footing in the playoffs. He shifted to tackle after a series, moving Darrion Weems to right guard. However, Weems didn't play well, and Schofield has excelled inside. 

Coach Gary Kubiak indicated that players could rotate during the game. Schofield told Denver7 he's comfortable in any spot.

"I moved around in camp, so it doesn't matter to me," Schofield said. "Whatever they need me to do I will do."

Safety Justin Simmons broke a bone in his left wrist during special teams play against the Colts. He told Denver7, he will play this Sunday.

"They will just club it up," Simmons said of the protective brace.


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