There are some key injuries for Sunday's divisional match-up at Denver. Find out who and why and what may be done about it.
This is the official injury report
|PLAYER||INJURY||THURSDAY PARTICIPATION||FRIDAY PARTICIPATION||FRIDAY STATUS|
|DT-Aubrayo Franklin||Knee||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate||OUT|
|LT-Jared Gaither||Groin||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate||DOUBTFUL|
|RB-Ryan Mathews||Neck||Did Not Participate||Limited Participation||QUESTIONABLE|
|TE-Dante Rosario||Hamstring||Limited Participation||Limited Participation||QUESTIONABLE|
|OLB-Antwan Barnes||Hamstring||Limited Participation||Full Participation||PROBABLE|
|SS-Atari Bigby||Quad||Limited Participation||Limited Participation||PROBABLE|
So, now the question is, who are this week's Expendables?
When you see that Nose Tackle Aubrayo Franklin is definitely not playing, you have to wonder how that will affect the defensive line. Without their best run stopper, players like Cam Thomas, Antonio Garay and rookie Kendall Reyes will have to step up and try to match his presence at the A gap.
While neither of those players can match Franklin's ability to dominate against the run, they are all superior pass rushers, which will be key against Peyton Manning. Stopping the run is most certainly important, but the rest of the team can somewhat make up for Franklin's loss. Pressuring Manning is the only way to have a chance to win that doesn't involve special teams miracles.
A few times this year, Defenseive coordinator John Pagano has sent out numerous variations of a front seven, so expect many new alignments if Franklin's replacements don't do as well as expected.
We already know that Rookie Mike Harris will be playing for Jared Gaither, which will really put a strain on Philip Rivers, and Ryan Mathews may give up some snaps to Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle if his neck takes a few extra hits. If all goes to plan, Mathews will get 20 touches to keep the Denver pass rush from eliminating any rhythm for Rivers and co.