ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Pre-game warmups to test a healing left hamstring will determine whether Willis McGahee can play against the New York Jets on Thursday night.
“That’s where I’m at. I think it’s going to be good,” he said. “I’m not worried about it, so I don’t think you should worry about it.”
That being said, McGahee, who is listed as questionable on the injury report, acknowledged he doesn’t yet know for certain if his hamstring will respond well enough to allow him to play.
“Physically, I always feel I’m ready. But you never know until you’re out there,” he said. “You really won’t know anything until you go full speed. I’m not going full speed right now.”
McGahee, who missed the final three quarters at Kansas City with the injury, made it through both of this week’s practices on a limited basis.
“I’ve been sprinkled in here and there,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “(I’m) just going day by day they tell me what I feel I can do, (then I) just go out and do it.”
He was cleared to return in the second half against the Chiefs, but knew he wouldn’t likely play then unless disaster ensued.
“Emergencies only,” he said. “I mean, I probably could have (played) but I wasn’t going to risk it because I didn’t know what the situation was at this time.”
Against Kansas City, the Broncos were down to Lance Ball and fullback Spencer Larsen after injuries to McGahee and Knowshon Moreno. When Moreno went to injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the Broncos promoted Jeremiah Johnson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
“Those guys are ready,” McGahee said. “Jeremiah had a good week of practice. Lance has been in this situation before.
“I’m not worried about those two.”
And even if McGahee plays, his playing time might be limited, which would put Ball and Johnson into action.
“That depends on how the body feels during the game. But if it’s up to me, I go back to the workload I had.”
“I think I’ll be all right. I’m going to go out and warm up and we’ll see how it goes.”
INJURY NOTES: Six Broncos are probable, and all went through the full practice Wednesday: left tackle Ryan Clady (knee), offensive tackle/tight end Chris Clark (knee), strong safety Brian Dawkins (ankle), cornerback Cassius Vaughn (hamstring), linebacker Wesley Woodyard (knee) and tight end Julius Thomas (ankle). Vaughn and Woodyard missed the Chiefs game with their injuries …
… Every Bronco on the roster practiced Wednesday, as was the case Tuesday …
… In New York, running back LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), safety Brodney Pool (knee), wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (knee) and tight end Shawn Nelson (illness) were ruled out for Thursday. Fourteen other Jets were listed on the injury report but shown as probable, a group that includes cornerback Darrelle Revis (knee), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot), center Nick Mangold (ankle), defensive tackles Mike DeVito (knee) and Marcus Dixon (shoulder) and linebackers Calvin Pace (groin) and David Harris (ankle).
NOTES: The Broncos are encouraging fans to arrive early for a military salute prior to Thursday’s game. Kickoff is at 6:29 p.m. MST … The half-time performer will be country singer Jessie James, who happens to be wide receiver Eric Decker’s girlfriend.
“I’m excited. I wish I could sneak out, but don’t tell Coach Fox. I’ve got somebody recording it for me,” Decker said. “We were there yesterday for her last rehearsal, and it was fun seeing her out there.”