ENGLEWOOD – While most of the injury attention surrounding the Denver Broncos this week has gone to offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who is out with a toe injury, another Ryan is in danger of missing Monday’s game against the Steelers.
Ryan McBean, who has started every game at end for the Broncos, hasn’t practiced this week because of a knee injury and is unlikely to play. Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely said today that if McBean can’t play, Le Kevin Smith will take his place.
Smith came over to Denver in a preseason trade with New England. A knee injury slowed his progress in training camp. He missed Denver’s first two games with the injury, and has three tackles in the past five games as part of Denver’s defensive line rotation. Smith had his first career sack last week against Baltimore.
“Le Kevin Smith is going to be our guy who is going to be starting for Ryan,” Nunnely said. “So, he’s played. We brought him here for a reason from New England. We feel like he is a good football player and he’ll have his opportunity to start and play a lot more than he has done in the past seven games.”
Harris, McBean and running back Peyton Hillis (undisclosed) were the three Broncos held out of practice. Safety Josh Barrett, who missed Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury, returned to practice.
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