ENGLEWOOD – Perhaps offensive tackle Ryan Harris was more valuable to the Denver Broncos than most people recognized.
Harris will miss his fourth straight start because of a toe injury, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said in his pre-practice press conference. Harris worked out Tuesday and it went well, but the short week didn’t help his chances of playing. The Broncos play Thursday, and McDaniels said Harris wouldn’t have many practice repetitions, so it was prudent to let him sit another week.
“It’s just not quite ready to go,” McDaniels said.
Safety Brian Dawkins’ status for Thursday’s game against the New York Giants is up in the air because of a neck injury.
“Brian’s doing better,” McDaniels said. “We’re hopeful that will be fine.”
Harris was injured Nov. 1 against Baltimore, and including that game, Denver has allowed 10 sacks in its past four contests. Denver lost all four games. The Broncos allowed nine sacks in their first six games, winning all six.
McDaniels offered some optimism that Harris could return for Denver’s next game.
“He’s doing better, he’s getting close,” McDaniels said.
The Broncos sense some urgency to get a win, and held a players-only meeting to address issues Tuesday. Running back Correll Buckhalter said the meeting was good, allowing whoever wanted to get up and speak the opportunity to do so.
“It was important we had that meeting so every player can be on the same page and we can go out there cohesively and get the job done,” Buckhalter said.