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Published on 09/01/2009 at Tue Sep 01 19:07.
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Knowshon Moreno returned to practice Tuesday. (courtesy

Knowshon Moreno returned to practice Tuesday. (courtesy

Possible good news for two thirds of the Denver Broncos backfield today, it looks as if rookie running back Knowshon Moreno and Kyle Orton could be available for the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals in less than two weeks. Moreno returned to the practice field today, while there are mixed reports on Orton.

If Orton can’t go, Chris Simms may be able to overcome his “lower extremity” injury and start in his place.

The speculation on Orton came after The Denver Post reported Orton’s injury an “Open dislocation,” meaning Orton’s finger popped out of place so severely that it snapped and tore the skin from the inside out. Ouch, so Orton has stitches in the index finger of his throwing hand and here in may still lie the problem, we do not know how severe Simms ankle injury actually is…

We merely know that the Broncos, ‘aren’t ruling Simms out for week one.’ Josh McDaniels had this to say after practice Tuesday:

On if QB Kyle Orton will be ready for the regular season opener at Cincinnati

“I don’t know that. I am hopeful we will have all of our players ready to go on opening day. Again, the timetable for that, I would be totally guessing and (would be) probably wrong if I started guessing about that kind of stuff right now.”

On QB Chris Simms’ status

“Hopefully, he will be ready to go next week. He is doing a great job. He is doing everything he can do to get ready as soon as possible. He has got a great work ethic now in the training room. We all saw it on the field, in the weight room and everything else, but he is busting his butt to try to get out here as fast as he can. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.”

The Tom Brandstater era may be a couple years early in Denver. Orton, although ‘mentally ready,’ may not be physically ready with the most important finger on his throwing hand diluted by stitches. Simms may be healthy, but high ankle sprains are tricky to say the least. A two-week recovery would be surprising. Head coach Josh McDaniels may be forced to make a very tough decision… Welcome to the NFL, Rookie indeed.

Speaking of Welcome to the NFL, Rookie be sure to catch Moreno tonight at 9 PM MST on ESPN 2.

Sorry for the scare Nation, but it is actually a possibility that Brandstater could be starting week one versus the Bengals. Though the fact that the Broncos are playing the Bengals in week one is probably a blessing (if we are forced to usher in the Brandstater era early). What do you think? Options?

  • Kyle

    If I had to guess right now, I’d say Moreno and Simms are the starters at Cincy. That finger injury is NASTY.

  • alm034

    I actually think he looked alright the other night, especially on the deep ball. Expect at least two rookie mistakes a game if he plays, but the thought isn’t as scary as it would be after the Seattle game.

  • anthony33

    Man, can’t believe this is happening already. No clue as to who will be on field com Cincy. Hate to say this, but what if Branstater goes down on Thursday?

    I hear the Broncos were one of four teams that put waiver claims on O’Connell, so what happens next?

    Also, is the guy any good?

  • Dave Simon

    Brandstater looked better, but not ready. Still, much of the team looked unready. Still think we should be looking at the Brian Grieses and Gus Frerottes of the world.

  • Vince_Marine

    anthony33…O’Connell was awarded to the Lions today.

    As for Brandstater starting in Cincy, well let’s just say the running backs better be ready to carry the load. I think it will be a run heavy offensive game plan. I honestly hope to see Simms start that game. He has looked a little better to me in the preseason.

  • AtomicLeo

    The finger injury could last all season. Didn’t Brett Farve have a similar injury in the early in the season and he just wasn’t the same the rest of the year?

  • mikebirty

    I dislocated my little finger about 10 weeks ago and can still feel it a little. And it didn’t break the skin so it wasn’t as serious. Hitting ctrl+c hurt for long time.

    As for Cinci – I’m sure Hillis can throw the ball, he can do everything else. Maybe just run the wildcat for the whole game.

  • robtink242

    Are you guys kidding me. I’m fully on the Bradstater team. Only if we could get him, Royal, Stokely, MARSHALL and Mckinley time together. I’m sorry but Orton a great back up. Simms may have blown his chances so lets accept the future.

  • Tom9798

    Vince . . . . I think you are close to reality . . . Simm’s has actually looked better . . . far better footwork/mobility . . . definitely a better long ball for a passing attack . . . .

    Orton say’s he’ll be ready to open the season against Cincy . . . why am I not feeling the warm fuzzie’s from this revelation . . .

    Robtink . . . . not enough Rep’s for Brandstater . . . . guy still has the “deer in the headlights” look . . . . and this has been practice and pre-season . . . . wait until the realtime, fullspeed, animals bust him a nut . . . . he is due a different point of view real soon . . . .

    And if you think that Brandstater is ready to carry the Bronco’s into this season’s schedule . . . you’ve been bogarting buddy . . .

  • (dee)

    Just got off the phone with McD, they are in LOVE with Brandstater and want to make him the starting QB. When McD went to Bowlen with the suggestion Bowlen was elated and even said that we should let him have the number 7 jersey, Bowlen had “forgot” that it is already retired.

  • NM Bronc

    Unless Simms is ready, bring on the Brandstater era.

    Watching Orton play is like watching paint dry only to be interrupted by a few severe 10 sec migraines.

  • bobby

    NM Bronco
    for some strange reason these guys don’t get that picture as well. I’m sorry I’m with Robtink. Orton only makes the safest pass and he doesn’t have the big play ability. Like said before he doesn’t play to win he plays not to lose. I’m sorry Simms or Bradstater

  • Andpark

    1. The game at Cin will not be as easy as all of think that it is. Palmer will be back and any game that far from home will suck.

    2. No Way Orton will be back, frankly I hope he doesn’t because he needs to get back to 100% for the crazy 8 stretch we have. That finger injury sounds really bad.

    3. Simms will be back. I hope. He did look a lot more agile and had a decent arm. Just really weird seeing a lefty in there!

  • CompUser

    Matt Leinart will be the starter, if not in week 1, then by week 2.

  • Joe DoGG

    I agree with robtink Bring on the Brandstater era. He is tall and big and if Mcd puts a little time into him I think that they could make him a great QB and when he threw that strike to McKinnley for nearly 50 yds I was impressed. The times that we seen Orton do that it resulted in a pic as far as Simms goes. I am a little weary on him he had that one good half and that was about it. Bring on Brandstater.