Trevor Siemian sported a new accessory after taking a beating in last Sunday's loss to the Chargers: a black-and-blue nose, courtesy of Los Angeles defensive end Melvin Ingram.
"Yeah, it's good. Got a little bruise. Probably should have broken it. Deserved it the way I played," he said with a laugh.
The Broncos, fresh off a pair of frustrating losses, look to right the ship at one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL on Monday when they take on the AFC West-leading Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Their wait to gameday has been loud, too, with critics chiming in on their mistakes and especially the play of their quarterback.
"It's easy for me to not get caught up in all that," said Siemian, who said he specifically has to "play better" at least seven times in his eight-minute meeting with local media.
"I wasn't holding up my end of the bargain, so it's tough to get on guys when you're not playing well," he said. "I've got to play better, and it starts with me. We have great leadership on offense, and guys are frankly embarrassed with what we put out there last Sunday. So we got to play better, I've got to play better and everybody knows that."
After taking a day to review the tape of last Sunday's loss and all that went wrong the past two weeks, Siemian and the Broncos are all in on Kansas City with a focus on protecting the ball, minimizing "the bad plays" and being more efficient on first and second downs to try to avoid third-and-longs.
"It's frustrating. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that, because you know you can play better and you feel like you let your guys down," Siemian said. "You let your teammates down when you don't play well. And, as a quarterback, you touch it every time so it doesn't matter what everyone's doing around you. You have a chance to keep everyone in it. That part is frustrating, but at the same time it's usually a day (of looking back). … We got a chance to get right back in it."
Return of Ray. Head coach Vance Joseph said outside linebacker Shane Ray will, as expected, make his season debut Monday - and start. Ray underwent surgery on his wrist early in training camp and was placed on injured reserve. Last week he resumed practice and continues to work his way back into "football shape."
"It being his first game back, he can't play the entire game," Joseph said of Ray. "He'll be on a pitch count. Shaq (Barrett) has played solid for us so he deserves to play anyway."
Injury updates. Receivers Isaiah McKenzie (ankle) and Cody Latimer (knee), right tackle Menelik Watson (calf) and quarterback Paxton Lynch (right shoulder sprain) all participated in the Broncos' "jog-through" Wednesday.
The session was Lynch's first with the team since he suffered a shoulder injury in preseason, but he was still limited and will remain so when the team practices in full Thursday. Lynch has thrown for nearly two weeks and has experienced some soreness. His timetable for return remains dependent on his progress and his healthy, Joseph said.
Inside linebacker Todd Davis, who suffered a high ankle sprain last Sunday, did not practice. Joseph said Davis' ankle swelling has improved but that he is "really sore." The team has not ruled him out for Monday. But given the nature of the injury and his absence Wednesday, it will be a surprise if he's available against the Chiefs.
Rookie tight end Jake Butt, who could be activated anytime in the next two weeks, is also working toward his NFL debut.
"He was a little sore after last week," Joseph said. "He has to get in football shape, but he wants to get out there. So when he's ready, we'll put him out there."
Practice squad addition. Center Gabe Ikard announced on Twitter Wednesday evening that will sign with the Broncos' practice squad.
Well…in quite the plot twist..I'm flying to Denver tonight to sign with the Broncos practice squad.
— Gabe Ikard (@GabeIkard) October 25, 2017
Ikard signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2014 and has since bounced to three different teams. He's played in six career games, with Buffalo and Detroit from 2015-16, and was most recently with the Browns. Ikard was released by Cleveland in August.
Ikard essentially takes the spot of Dillon Day, who was promoted to the active roster last weekend and then waived. Day spent almost all of his two-plus seasons in Denver on the practice squad and, on Wednesday, was claimed off waivers by Indianapolis.