The most talked-about ankle in Denver participated in the Broncos' practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday — and so did the quarterback it's attached to, Peyton Manning.
Manning did not participate on Wednesday after aggravating a right ankle injury during Sunday's game in San Diego. An MRI test Monday revealed the ankle had sustained no more damage than it had going into the game, but the Broncos planned to exercise caution with their quarterback in the week leading up to their Sunday-night matchup with the 9-0 Chiefs.
Manning said Wednesday that if the game were that day, he'd play, and he vowed to be out there on Sunday. Thus, it came as no surprise that he rejoined the team Thursday, sporting a glove on his right hand. He didn't appear to be favoring one ankle or hobbled at all during the media viewing practice period.
"He had a lot of energy today," offensive coordinator Adam Gase said. "It was good to see him back out there. Every day, it's a little bit better."
Gase added that Manning missing Wednesday — the day when the team installs its plays for the coming week — wasn't much of an issue. It's Peyton Manning, after all.
"He knows this offense by now," Gase said. "Him running one more rep or a play he's run 4,000 times, that's really not going to make a difference in what we're doing. The big day is today and tomorrow, making sure that Saturday we're nice and clean going into the game."
Interim coach Jack Del Rio said that he's been pleased with the way the quarterback has approached this week and how he did "the smart thing" by sitting out.
"He tends to do his thing with preparation," Del Rio said. "He's tremendous with that."
The only player missing from practice was linebacker Danny Trevathan, who was excused for the birth of his child. Cornerback Champ Bailey, who practiced Wednesday for the first time since October, practiced once again, albeit in a limited role. Bailey also addressed the media for the first time since aggravating his foot injury in Indianapolis, and he said he's still unsure if he'll play against Kansas City.