The Denver Broncos called off their star pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware for the upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers. The linebacker returned to the practice field this week but the team will be playing without him for another game.
A back injury has sidelined the 33-year-old Ware for a month and the Broncos ruled him out of Friday's match. This will be the fourth straight game that he will miss since re-aggravating his back problem in a November 8 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts. Ware's 6.5 sacks led the team before he went down.
While the injury has been bothering the outside linebacker for the last couple of months, he will still travel with the team to San Diego. He is expected to work out on the field prior to the match, which goes to show that his return to practice suggests his impending return to game action.
Ware is currently tied for 10th all-time with a record of 133.5 sacks. With the strong season he had when healthy, he may have a chance to move up near the top 5 if he keeps that momentum after recovering from injury.
"He was really close. He practiced [well] yesterday, even better today [Friday]. I think he's very confident, but I think we kind of made up our mind that we were going to stay the course," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said, via the team website. "It's not time yet."
While Ware did make enough progress in his recovery to join his teammates on their trip to San Diego on Saturday, the same cannot be said for Peyton Manning, who is currently dealing with a left heel injury. The quarterback will not join the rest of the Broncos to face the Chargers after getting the cast off his left foot this week.
Manning is still wearing a walking boot and is undergoing physical rehab in hopes of getting healthy enough to return to the field this season. In his absence, Brock Osweiler will again start at quarterback for Denver. Osweiler, 25, has passed for 520 yards and three touchdowns in his two starts.
On Wednesday, Manning mentioned that the status of his position and potential return "is so far ahead of what I'm thinking about." "I'm thinking about what Coach Kubiak asked me to do -- [which] is to try to get healthy, and I'm following his instructions. I'd love for it [the foot] to be healthy yesterday, I can assure you," he added.
Other players ruled out for the game versus the Chargers are defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and safety T.J. Ward. Both of them suffered high ankle sprain which they sustained on the same play in last week's win over the New England Patriots. Neither of them will travel to San Diego and neither practiced with the team this week.