Talib, Wolfe back for Broncos’ stretch run
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For a guy who didn’t get away during the bye week, Aqib Talib was sure in a good mood Monday.
He sang. He danced. He crowed.
Following his first practice since Oct. 28, Talib said his balky back was “feeling great,” the cortisone shot and all that rest and rehab doing wonders for his mobility and his mood.
“Hey, y’all better come get this,” Talib hollered at a group of reporters gathered around running back Kapri Bibbs on the other side of the locker room.
“Hey Kapri! Kill your (stuff). I’m talking,” Talib said. “I’ve got announcements to make. Let’s talk.”
And that big proclamation was …
“I’m back, baby!”
So, clearly Talib is feeling better as the Denver Broncos (7-3) prepare for a Sunday night showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs (7-3).
Talib, who missed two games, said he’s confident he can finish out the season without any more back problems.
“I feel great, like I’m going to finish great, even better,” Talib said. “I got a three-week break so my legs feel extra fresh and I just feel like super fresh right now.”
Talib stuck around Denver during the break to get treatment and work on his conditioning alongside defensive end Derek Wolfe , who missed the last game with a hairline fracture in his right elbow.
Both were full participants in practice Monday along with rookie fullback Andy Janovich, who ditched his cast for the first time since breaking his right hand in a game against Houston on Oct. 24.
“It’ll give us (more options) because obviously the last few weeks I’ve been pretty limited in what I can do so we’ve been using a lot more tight ends,” Janovich said. “So, it’ll get me back in the game. It’s just one more personnel (grouping) for them to think about.”
The Super Bowl champs are remarkably healthy heading into a daunting homestretch that includes four AFC West games and a visit from the rival New England Patriots.
“It’s always good when we get in that huddle, man, and you see everybody, all the guys,” Talib said. “So, it’ll be good. We’re well-rested, we should come out and play real good.”
The only players who missed Monday’s practice were wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, whose wife was preparing to give birth, and center Matt Paradis, who is dealing with a sore hip and has been held out of practice for much of this month.
Inside linebacker Brandon Marshall said his sore hamstring was “feeling a lot better” after the bye.
“I think were poised for a nice run,” Marshall said. “We’re all well-rested and ready to go, man.”
Indeed, the locker room had a post-victory vibe.
“It’s always a good vibe. We’re not 3-7. We’re 7-3,” Talib said. “So, why wouldn’t the vibe be good in here? You hear me? No. 1 pass D. There’s no reason for it not to be a good vibe.”
Although less animated, fellow cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was just as excited about Talib’s return.
“Oh man, it just makes my job a lot easier,” said Harris, who can go back to playing the slot now. “Just being able to have a guy out there that knows what’s going on and has that communication that’s always on point. It just makes it to where I don’t really have to talk to everybody all game.
“And I think everybody feels fresh, ready to roll,” Harris said. “We just know this is our time when we’ve got to turn it up another notch. This is a time where a lot of teams fall off.”
NOTES: The Broncos re-signed former Ravens WR/returner Marlon Brown, whom coach Gary Kubiak had pledged to bring back when he waived the fourth-year pro on Aug. 4 because of a bad back. To make room, they waived corner back Taurean Nixon. … With a dozen missed extra points in Week 11, Marshall said he likes the rule that moved the PATs back to 33 yards. “It’s not so automatic anymore,” he said. “I think that they’ve got to work for it. The line has to work harder because the D-line is working harder because we know we can get a block. I think it’s a good rule change. I think it’s good for the game.”
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