Posted Fri Jan 6th by Jon Heath
There is a good chance that Denver will be without veteran safety Brian Dawkins (neck) for the fourth straight week on Sunday, when the Broncos take on the Steelers in the first round of the AFC Wild Card Playoffs.
Dawkins missed every practice this week, as did fullback Spencer Larsen, who suffered a knee sprain last week against Kansas City. In Dawkins place, safety David Bruton will join rookie Quinton Carter at the back-end of Denver’s secondary.
Rookie fullback Austin Sylvester is expected to see his first NFL action if Larsen is not able to go, possibly starting for the first time in his career. Sylvester hasn’t played in any games this season.
Wide receiver Eddie Royal (toe) and Bruton (Achilles) were limited during the week, but are expected to play Sunday. If Bruton is not healthy enough to play, Rahim Moore would replace him. Rookie linebacker Von Miller (thumb) fully participated in practice on Thursday and is looking to bounce back from his sackless slump.
For Pittsburgh, cornerback Cortez Allen (shoulder), linebacker James Harrison (toe), defensive end Brett Keisel (groin), running back Mewelde Moore (knee), safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) did not participate in practice on Thursday. The severity of those players’ injuries however is not yet known.
Quarterback Ben Reothlisberger (ankle) fully participated and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that Roethisberger will be ready to play. The full injury report will come out later today (Friday afternoon).