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Gazette Premium Content Broncos lose Hochstein and McKinley for season

FRANK SCHWAB Updated: December 28, 2009 at 12:00 am

ENGLEWOOD – Not only did the Denver Broncos lose a key game Sunday, they lost two players for the season.

Rookie receiver Kenny McKinley and guard Russ Hochstein will be placed on injured reserve, coach Josh McDaniels said. During Sunday’s game, the team announced both injuries as knee injuries.

McKinley was Denver’s primary punt and kickoff returner Sunday with Eddie Royal inactive. Hochstein has started the past 10 games for the Broncos after taking over for the ineffective Ben Hamilton at left guard. Hamilton replaced Hochstein during Sunday’s game.

The Broncos were still struggling with answers for their 30-27 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, which dropped them to 8-7 and put their playoff chances in jeopardy. There are 10 scenarios in which the Broncos can still make the playoffs – including some in which they lose Sunday against Kansas City – but will need help from at least two teams Sunday.

“I’ve been briefed, I would say, on what they are,” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. ”The one thing we can control is what we do and how we play and how we prepare for the Chiefs. I don’t think hoping for something else to happen while you’re playing or while you’re getting ready to play the game is going to do you any good.”

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