Bailey, Dumervil questionable for Packers game
October 1, 2011
Englewood — (AP) — Tweaked hamstring and all, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey jumped a route Friday in practice and picked off a pass with one hand.
Granted, this was just a drill performed at half speed, with a fellow defensive back running the pattern and an assistant coach throwing the football.
To Bailey, that’s at least a step in the right direction.
His left hamstring has held up just fine on a limited basis in practice all week. But suiting up against Aaron Rodgers and the high-octane Green Bay offense is an entirely different scenario.
Bailey and pass-rush specialist Elvis Dumervil (shoulder and calf) are questionable for Sunday. To slow down Rodgers — if that’s even possible these days — and a Green Bay offense averaging 33 points, Bailey and Dumervil would certainly come in handy.
“We’ve got our hands full,” said Bailey, who’s missed the last two games. “We’ve got to be on our game for this.”
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Bailey won’t make any decisions on his playing status until Sunday morning, when he puts the hamstring through a strenuous test.
If Bailey is less than 100 percent, he realizes he will be picked on — even with his impressive resume.
“I know they need me out there, and I want to be out there,” Bailey said. “But I’m not exactly where I want to be.”
Dumervil’s chomping to begin chasing quarterbacks again. He’s played sparingly this season after aggravating his shoulder in the season opener. And new on the injury report as of Friday was a calf ailment.
All this after sitting out last season with a chest injury.
It won’t be easy getting to Rodgers, not with the offensive line he has in front of him. Rodgers has been sacked five times this season.
Given time to operate, Rodgers has picked apart defenses, throwing eight TD passes and just one interception.
“That guy is one of the best quarterbacks in the league,” linebacker Joe Mays said. “He makes it happen over there. He gets their offense going. … They utilize everything they have.”
Especially now, with the emergence of Jermichael Finley. The 6-foot-5, 247-pound tight end caught three touchdown passes in a win over the Chicago Bears.
Provided he’s healthy, Bailey could very well find himself shadowing Finley when the Broncos are in their nickel package. That despite giving up more than 50 pounds.
“I want to cover anybody,” Bailey said. “Whoever is the No. 1 threat, that’s who I want to get.”
That’s the thing with the Packers: They spread the ball around so efficiently. They have seven players with at least five grabs. Greg Jennings leads the way with 18.
“They’re just overall good,” Dumervil said. “They play well together, well-coached. They’ve got good technique, and they don’t really make errors.”
The Broncos could receive a boost at linebacker with D.J. Williams (elbow) being probable for the game. Williams dressed in the loss to Tennessee last weekend but didn’t play.
Williams is a versatile linebacker who can play any linebacker spot.
“I think his athleticism matches up against (Green Bay),” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said.
The Broncos are still searching for their first interception of the season. Not that Allen is all that concerned, especially considering the Broncos have been without their best pass rusher and cover corner for the last two games.
“Those things come, and they come in bunches,” Allen said. “I’ve been around it long enough to know that you get one, and the next thing you know, you’ve got three or four and then nobody’s talking about how you don’t have any interceptions. So, I don’t worry about that.”
The Broncos took a lighthearted approach to the start of practice on a sun-drenched day at the office Friday.
Wide receiver Eric Decker exchanged jerseys with tailback Knowshon Moreno — a tight fit for Decker — while offensive linemen ran passing routes with guards Zane Beadles and Russ Hochstein throwing spirals.
“We just had a little fun,” Decker said. “We mixed it up a little bit.”
Notes: Broncos WR Eddie Royal (groin), TE Julius Thomas (ankle) and WR Demaryius Thomas (finger) are all out for the Green Bay game. … DT Marcus Thomas (groin) is listed as questionable while Moreno (hamstring) is probable. … Broncos K Matt Prater has touchbacks on all 13 of his kickoffs this season.