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Bron­cos in­side line­backer Brandon Mar­shall missed his third con­sec­u­tive prac­tice Thurs­day be­cause of a ham­string in­jury, putting his avail­abil­ity for Sun­day’s game in doubt. Fel­low in­side line­backer Todd Davis, who is deal­ing with an oblique in­jury, worked with a trainer to the side, but coach Gary Ku­biak said he ex­pects him to re­turn to prac­tice Fri­day.

Corey Nel­son would start in place of Mar­shall for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game. And Zaire An­der­son, who re­placed Davis dur­ing the Bron­cos’ loss at Ten­nessee last Sun­day, would get his first ca­reer start if Davis is ruled out.

“He got thrown in there last week, and we played our best half,” Ku­biak said of An­der­son. “We played our tail off. It just tells you that he’s been pay­ing at­ten­tion, wait­ing for an op­por­tu­nity. He’s been prac­tic­ing re­ally well this week.”

Cen­ter Matt Par­adis, whose prac­tices have been lim­ited to once a week be­cause of hip sore­ness, did not prac­tice at all Thurs­day. He at­tended the work­out, how­ever, and ob­served from the side­line. Long snap­per Casey Kre­iter also did not prac­tice be­cause of a calf in­jury.

QB pro­tec­tion.

Quar­ter­backs coach Greg Knapp said all quar­ter­backs face a learn­ing curve in pro­tect­ing them­selves in the pocket. Trevor Siemian has missed two games this sea­son be­cause of a sprained shoul­der and a sprained foot, and he has been sacked 27 times.

“I have liked what I’ve seen,” Knapp said of Siemian’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing to avoid some hits. “He’s still not 100 per­cent now from the foot, and he played pretty tough last week. Missed a cou­ple plays for us at the end to win it, and that’s what we’re try­ing to push him harder for. I have liked see­ing him com­ing back from the foot and the shoul­der in­jury and com­pet­ing like he has.”

Lynch’s de­vel­op­ment.

Knapp said the crit­i­cism Pax­ton Lynch re­ceived from the me­dia af­ter his first two NFL starts was un­just.

“I’ve coached quite a few guys in the league and been through the ups and downs of a young quar­ter­back,” Knapp said. “He’s only played 2½ games. Your first year, you’re still learn­ing the of­fense. I don’t care who’s played, the first year is a learn­ing curve like no other be­cause it’s one thing just to learn the play­book, but then to have to go and ex­e­cute against a mov­ing de­fense, it takes time. I think he’s done a good job of pro­tect­ing the ball for a young quar­ter­back. … I’m pleased with his progress.”

San­ders fined.

Re­ceiver Em­manuel San­ders said he was fined $12,154 by the NFL for his touch­down cel­e­bra­tion at Ten­nessee. San­ders was flagged for un­sports­man­like con­duct for mim­ick­ing a pitcher throw­ing from the stretch.


Bron­cos of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Rick Den­ni­son was ab­sent from prac­tice for two days be­cause of a fam­ily is­sue, but Ku­biak said he ex­pects Den­ni­son to re­turn Fri­day. … The New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots claimed re­ceiver Michael Floyd off waivers from Ari­zona and re­leased re­ceiver Griff Whalen. Floyd had 33 catches for 446 yards and four touch­downs for the Car­di­nals this sea­son.

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