TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NFL

Williams on verge of first start of season against Raiders

{eot}
Associated Press
12/5/2012 10:41:46 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- D.J. Williams is preparing for his first start since Jan. 14 with Wesley Woodyard still hobbled by a sprained left ankle.

The Broncos (9-3) take their seven-game winning streak to Oakland to face the reeling Raiders (3-9) Thursday night, and they'll be without Woodyard, who didn't make the trip.

"It will definitely affect the defence," star strongside linebacker Von Miller said. "He's been playing well for us, really all season. But D.J., he's ready to go."

Woodyard won the starting weakside linebacker job in training camp with incumbent Williams facing what turned out to be two suspensions totalling nine games, and he's had a breakout year. He leads the Broncos with 97 tackles and is the only NFL player with at least three interceptions and three sacks this season.

On Wednesday, Woodyard was walking around team headquarters without the noticeable limp he had after Sunday's game, but the Broncos are concerned about him aggravating the injury in a short week and they decided to keep him out of Thursday night's game with a key trip to Baltimore looming on Dec. 16.

Coach John Fox wouldn't tip his hand on his intentions for replacing Woodyard in the lineup but acknowledged it was nice to have Williams, the team's leading tackler in four of the last five seasons, as the proverbial "next man up."

"I feel good about all our linebacking crew: D.J., obviously getting him back, getting him more familiar as we move along in our new defensive system; Danny Trevathan's played in a lot of those roles. So, we feel confident in both of those guys," Fox said.

Williams returned to Dove Valley after serving a six-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy and was able to attend meetings while serving his subsequent three-game penalty for a drunken driving conviction. He was activated last month and has recorded a half-dozen tackles and one pass breakup in three games.

"I think when he came back, he didn't seem really rusty to me," Miller said. "He still was in really good shape. He looked pretty good. He had been paying attention in meetings; he was on top of everything."

Williams' last start was in Denver's loss at New England in the playoffs 11 months ago.

"I think D.J. will be ready to go, and he'll take advantage of the opportunity," Miller said.

Slot receiver Brandon Stokley, who missed last weekend's 31-23 win over the Buccaneers with an injured hip, was listed as questionable after being limited in practice again Wednesday. Stokley said his hip started bothering him a week ago but he wasn't sure how it happened.

The NFL expanded its Thursday night schedule this year, making a lack of physical recovery a bigger issue, especially with so many of them being divisional games, which are notoriously more scrappy.

"This is a combative game, no doubt. And it's a tough game, whether it's played any day of the week," Fox said.

Notes: Listed as probable are: RG Chris Kuper (ankle) WR Matt Willis (knee), G Manny Ramirez (back) and TE Virgil Green (hamstring), along with DE Robert Ayers, who missed last week while dealing with the death of his father. ... Peyton Manning's 3,502 yards passing are already the most in NFL history by a quarterback who didn't play the previous year, topping Stan Humphries' 3,356 yards with San Diego in 1992.

D.J. Williams  (Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Round-by-Round Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, and Aeneas Williams, headlined this year's Hall of Fame class. More...

Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 23 - Jim Trotter

ESPN NFL Analyst, Jim Trotter joined Bryan Hayes to discuss Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam, Brett Favre's Packers legacy & Johnny Manziel.

TSN 1050: Gamenight: July 22 - John Kryk

NFL Columnist John Kryk of Sun Media joins Gamenight to give his training camp rundown of the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Giants.

TSN 1050 - Gameday: Matt Florjancic - July 6th

Matt Florjancic of WKYC Sports in Cleveland joined Andy McNamara to discuss the arrest of Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel, and LeBron James.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television