LINEBACKER WARE EX­PECTS TO PLAY JAN. 17

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Troy E. Renck, The Den­ver Post

Read DeMar­cus Ware’s ré­sumé, and it wants for al­most noth­ing. He has nine Pro Bowl berths. He ranks 11th in all- time sacks. But one thing re­mains ab­sent: play­off suc­cess. Ware has ap­peared in five post­sea­son games in his 11- year ca­reer— but has come away with only one win.

With the Bron­cos own­ing the AFC’s top play­off seed, Ware isn’t about tomiss his chance. De­spite suf­fer­ing a knee in­jury in the third quar­ter of Sun­day’s game against San Diego, the out­side linebacker said he ex­pects to be ready for the Bron­cos’ play­off opener Jan. 17.

Ware didn’t re­veal specifics about his knee in­jury, which has kept him out of prac­tice thisweek. He also con­tin­ues to re­hab a struc­tural is­sue in his back as part of amain­te­nance rou­tine.

De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Wade Phillips be­lieves his de­fense will be at full strength. Rest thisweek has helped. Cor­ner­back Chris Har­ris ( shoul­der), in­side linebacker Bran­don Mar­shall ( an­kle) and safety Dar­ian Ste­wart ( ham­string) are heal­ing. Ste­wart vis­ited a spe­cial­ist in At­lanta, who con­firmed there­was no tear.

“It was good news,” Ste­wart said. “It will be bet­ter for next week. I am thank­ful for this time off.”

Brock is tough.

When quar­ter­back Brock Osweiler missed prac­tice Thurs­day, it came as a sur­prise. Why? Osweiler played through a sprained right knee Sun­day and only sought treat­ment Mon­day when it lin­gered, re­quir­ing an MRI.

Osweiler, who per­formed well in pre­vi­ous weeks de­spite in­juries to his left el­bow and shoul­der, will not prac­tice this week.

Charg­ers linebacker Melvin In­gram hit Osweiler’s right knee on a pass that was in­ter­cepted, caus­ing the in­jury.

Gift for Danny T.

Mar­shall is a great team­mate. Af­ter a spir­ited com­pe­ti­tion, Mar­shall pre­sented in­side linebacker Danny Tre­vathan with an in­scribed bot­tle of Jim Beam. It reads: “Danny T. 2015 Bron­cos Lead­ing Tack­ler, The Lion, 110.”

“That’s just a lit­tle some­thing he wanted to get me. I plan on get­ting him some­thing. It’s a bless­ing to be in this po­si­tion,” said Tre­vathan, who re­bounded suc­cess­fully from three knee in­juries last sea­son. “We were blind­sided by get­ting hurt. But we are pros, and we adapted.”

Mar­shall fin­ished with 101 tack­les. He led the team un­til the fi­nal game, log­ging only three snaps against the Charg­ers be­cause of an an­kle is­sue.

Foot­notes.

Coach Gary Ku­biak ad­mit­ted that one of the sur­prises this sea­son was tail­back Ron­nie Hill­man prov­ing he could be “a three- down player,” based on his im­prove­ment in pass pro­tec­tion. ... Cor­ner­back Omar Bolden ( ham­string) con­tin­ues to prac­tice, sug­gest­ing he will be avail­able for the play­offs. He has been missed on spe­cial teams. ... Ku­biak, on Ter­rell Davis be­ing a Hall of Fame fi­nal­ist: “He was a dif­fer­ence- maker for our or­ga­ni­za­tion, our foot­ball team to get over the top.”

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