Broncos ILB Josey Jewell, S Caden Sterns out vs. Chargers


Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Saturday said he and his staff have “a really good idea,” of what the offensive line will look like Monday night against the Chargers, but didn’t reveal anything as the team wrapped up its work week.

“We still want to see this practice and make sure we know exactly,” Hackett said.

Right guard Quinn Meinerz, out with a hamstring issue the past four games, was a full participant in practice Saturday and is listed as questionable.

“I think (Meinerz) is definitely better than he has been before this,” Hackett said. “We’re looking forward to hopefully getting him out there.”

Left guard Dalton Risner (back) and veteran Billy Turner (knee) were both limited Saturday and are also listed as questionable.

Risner said he’s had his back tighten early in a week previously and ended up playing. He’s hoping that’s the case this week as well. Turner was active last week but did not play.

“We want to be sure we’re getting Billy ready,” Hackett said. “(Right tackle Cam Fleming) has done a really good job for us. Calvin (Anderson) stepped in and did a good job. We’re lucky to have to have three.

Simmons’ likely return. As expected, safety Justin Simmons is on track to return from injured reserve Monday night.

“That’s what we’re looking for and that’s what we’re thinking,” Hackett said.

Simmons has missed the past four games with a quad injury but said earlier this week he feels “great” and like he’s been ready to play for a while now. He’ll have missed the minimum four games on injured reserve assuming he plays in Los Angeles.

His able replacement over that span, Caden Sterns, is out with a hip issue that “has kind of been ongoing and flared up for him,” Hackett said.

Inside linebacker Josey Jewell is also out. He sprained his knee on a second-half sack of Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan last week. Alex Singleton is likely to start in his place as he has two other times this season.

Denver’s full list of players listed as questionable: Meinerz, Turner, Risner, running back Melvin Gordon (neck/ribs), cornerback Damarri Mathis (knee), tight end Eric Saubert (thigh) and outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper (hamstring). All practiced in some capacity Saturday.

More IR activations? Denver could certainly use Mathis healthy in the wake of losing cornerback Ronald Darby for the season to an ACL injury. They could also activate Michael Ojemudia from injured reserve. Both he and rookie tight end Greg Dulcich are eligible to return and the Broncos have three roster spots open — potentially for Simmons, Ojemudia and Dulcich.

“You have this (three-week) timeframe for them to get activated and you want to take advantage of that as much as you possibly can,” Hackett said. “But at the same time, if we need them and they give us the best chance to win, we’re going to want to get them going.”


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