Justin Houston LB KC 8 Hrs
Houston is listed on the injury report with an ankle issue, but was a full participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday.
Houston is a new addition to the injury report this week, but the fact that he was a full participant both Wednesday and Thursday indicates he should be good to go Sunday.
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 8 Hrs
Thomas caught 8-of-12 targets for 105 yards in Thursday's 35-21 win over the Chargers.
You know things are going well when many fantasy owners will view this as a disappointing performance, even in PPR leagues. Thomas played a strong game against a banged-up San Diego secondary, but he surprisingly failed to find the end zone for the first time since Week 3, as all three of Peyton Manning's touchdown passes went to Emmanuel Sanders. Despite his tough matchup against the New England secondary next week, Thomas will be one of the top options at his position, boasting a ridiculous 34 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns over his last four games. He recorded at least eight receptions, nine targets and 100 yards in each of those games.
Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 8 Hrs1 Comment
Sanders caught all nine of his targets for 120 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's 35-21 win over the Chargers.
Sanders caught each of Denver's first three touchdowns, striking paydirt from two, 31 and three yards out. After starting the year with 35 receptions and no touchdowns through his first five games, he has 12 receptions (on 12 targets) and four scores over the past two contests. He did come close to losing a fumble while the Broncos were protecting a lead in the fourth quarter, but Sanders otherwise played a nearly perfect game. His long gain of 38 yards required a beautiful catch in traffic, and he worked over the San Diego secondary on a number of different routes. It helped that the Chargers lost rookie cornerback Jason Verrett (shoulder) early in the game, while top corner Brandon Flowers (sidelined) was unable to play. A secondary that's dangerous at full health was unable to put up much of a fight, leaving Sanders and Demaryius Thomas to combine for 225 yards on 21 targets. The touchdown barrage over the last two games is a bit fluky, as Sanders is seemingly Peyton Manning's third option in the red zone, which could still lead to double-digit touchdowns.
Ronnie Hillman RB DEN 8 Hrs4 Comments
Hillman gained 109 yards on 20 carries and 29 yards on three receptions in Thursday's 35-21 win over the Chargers.
Hillman played well and earned his second 100-yard outing in three weeks, but it was fellow running back Juwan Thompson who got a pair of one-yard touchdowns. While obviously frustrating for Hillman's owners, it's important to note that Thompson was lined up as a fullback in front of Hillman on both plays, rather than replacing him as the halfback. Thompson's size could get the rookie a few extra touches near the painted grass, but the Broncos have mostly kept Hillman in for goal-line situations in Montee Ball's (groin) absence. Ball is expected to miss at least one more game, leaving Hillman as the probable lead back against a shaky New England run defense. With the way he's played thus far, Hillman is making a strong case to keep a significant role in the offense upon Ball's return to health.
Juwan Thompson RB DEN 8 Hrs
Thompson had seven carries for 24 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's 35-21 win over the Chargers.
Two of Thompson's carries were one-yard touchdowns while lined up as a fullback in front of Ronnie Hillman, and four of the carries came on a clock-killing drive late in the fourth quarter. The rookie's excellent size may get him a bit of extra work at the goal line, but Hillman has far and away been the Broncos' lead back in Montee Ball's (groin) absence. Hillman has also gotten most of the goal-line snaps at the halfback spot, and he turned in another strong game Thursday night.
Malcom Floyd WR SD 9 Hrs
Floyd (shoulder) returned to Thursday's game against the Broncos, finishing with four catches for 58 yards on seven targets.
Floyd was deemed probable to return after suffering the injury in the third quarter, and he quickly made his way back into the game. He caught two passes for 42 yards before the injury, with another two receptions for 16 yards in the fourth quarter. Floyd was targeted on a few deep plays, including one that ended with a game-clinching interception by Broncos safety Rahim Moore. Though he's mostly just a deep threat, Floyd does have seven targets in each of the last three games, after averaging 3.4 through the first five weeks of the season.
Peyton Manning QB DEN 9 Hrs2 Comments
Manning completed 25-of-35 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns in Thursday's 35-21 win over the CHargers.
A modest showing by Manning's own ridiculous standards, but he played a nearly flawless game for the Broncos, avoiding any sacks and turnovers as the team only punted four times. All three scoring passes went to Emmanuel Sanders, who is finally turning his plethora of receptions into touchdowns. The Denver offense seems to be no less efficient than it was last season, but with the team's defense quite clearly improved, Manning be do a bit less throwing. It's only a minor concern, as he's still on pace for 50 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 passing yards, heading into a Week 9 road matchup with the Patriots.
Malcom Floyd WR SD 9 Hrs
Floyd left Thursday's game against the Broncos with a shoulder injury but is probable to return, Ricky Henne of Chargers.com reports.
Floyd hurt himself while making a fantastic 26-yard catch in the third quarter, and he left for the locker room shortly thereafter. He's apparently expected to return, but if for some reason he doesn't, Seyi Ajirotutu and/or Dontrelle Inman will see added snaps. Floyd
Jason Verrett DB SD 10 Hrs
Verrett (shoulder) will not return to Thursday's game against the Broncos, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports.
Verrett tried to play through the shoulder injury that held him out last week, but he only lasted until the second quarter. The Chargers are left rather thin at cornerback, with Brandon Flowers (concussion) already sidelined. Richard Marshall and Chris Davis have taken on expanded roles alongside starter Shareece Wright.
Jason Verrett DB SD 10 Hrs
Verrett (shoulder) left Thursday's game against the Broncos in the second quarter, and he is questionable to return, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports.
Verrett, who missed Week 7 and was questionable for Thursday, presumably aggravated the same shoulder. With Brandon Flowers (concussion) sidelined, the Chargers will rely on Richard Marshall and Chris Davis alongside Shareece Wright at cornerback.