For the second consecutive Wednesday, Peyton Manning participated in the Broncos' practice. He wore just one glove in the unseasonably warm weather as the team finally returned to a normal week of practices.
The Broncos will finish out the season on the road, playing in Houston on Sunday and Oakland the next weekend. With an 11-3 record, tied with the Chiefs and a game ahead of the 10-4 Patriots, these games matter, and Manning's focus is predictably on nothing more than getting two wins.
"It's all about Houston," he said. "We've done a good job of taking things week to week. I think we've prepared well each week, and we haven't already played as well as we would have liked. You like to transfer good practices to the playing field, and I thought we had a good day today."
Missing on Wednesday were cornerback Kayvon Webster, receiver Wes Welker and defensive end Derek Wolfe. None of those absences should come as a surprise. Webster had thumb surgery Friday, Welker has been out since suffering a concussion against Tennessee, and Wolfe hasn't practiced since he came down with an illness on the team bus on Nov. 29.
Coach John Fox didn't give much of an update on Wolfe or Welker, whose statuses going forward are somewhat vague. The team is being close-mouthed about Wolfe's condition, and Welker must still work through the NFL's concussion protocol in order to be cleared to practice. Fox classified the receiver as "day-to-day."
There was a new addition on the field Wednesday, too: defensive end Jeremy Mincey, whom the Broncos signed Tuesday after he was cut Friday by the Jaguars. Mincey should be able to give a boost to the defensive line, which is missing both Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson, who's out for the season with a dislocated hip.
Joan Niesen: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/joanniesen