NFL

Decker's four TDs lead Broncos over Chiefs

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The Canadian Press
12/1/2013 10:05:52 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two games in three weeks have taken their toll on the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.

Both of the AFC West contenders were already missing several key players due to injuries before the Broncos' 35-28 victory on Sunday.

Several more players went down during the course of the game, including Denver wide receiver Trindon Holliday and Chiefs left tackle Brandon Albert.

Holliday hurt his shoulder in the first half, shortly after Demaryius Thomas went down with a shoulder injury. Thomas eventually returned and finished the game.

Albert went down with a sprained left knee later in the game. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that an X-ray on the knee came back negative, but Albert will have an MRI exam on Monday.

"See how he does here over night," Reid said.

Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano sustained a concussion when his head slammed to the turf in the third quarter and did not return. He had caught a touchdown pass earlier in the game.

Kansas City safety Kendrick Lewis also left for several plays with a knee injury, though he managed to get treatment during the game and was on the field at the finish.

"I'm good," he said. "Just a little stinger."

Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson went on injured reserve this week after dislocating his right hip in last week's loss to New England, while defensive end Derek Wolfe was left behind in Denver after he was hospitalized Friday with seizure-like symptoms.

It's unknown when Wolfe will be released from the hospital or when he'll be cleared to resume football. The team said he did not suffer a stroke or a full-blown seizure.

"The Derek Wolfe story, I think our team released enough information that I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it, but I will tell you that we got good news," Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said.

"All the tests they've conducted and put him through, looks like he's going to be OK. At the end of the day, he is going to be all right and we're happy to hear about that."

Denver cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did not play after jamming his right shoulder last week against New England. For a while it appeared as if he'd be OK to play, even though he was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and was listed as questionable for the game.

Tight end Julius Thomas, who led the Broncos with 10 touchdown catches, also was inactive after dealing with a knee injury. He was limited in practice all week and also was questionable.

The Broncos did have Knowshon Moreno, who needed a walking boot because of an ankle injury early in the week, and cornerback Champ Bailey, who had missed all but six quarters this season due to a lingering foot injury. Both of them were in the starting lineup.

"We're banged up but we have some depth. It shows," said Bailey, who also left for a moment in the first quarter when he got the wind knocked out of him. "It's tough, but we've got some good players in this locker room and they've stepped up."

The Chiefs were missing top pass rusher Justin Houston, who dislocated his right elbow in last week's loss to San Diego. Swelling prevented him from having an MRI exam until Wednesday, and team trainer Rick Burkholder said Houston is considered "week to week."

Fellow linebacker Tamba Hali was active despite dealing with a sprained right ankle.

Right guard Jon Asamoah and Fisher, who missed last week's game with shoulder injuries, were active. But both of them began the game on the bench with Geoff Schwartz starting at guard and Donald Stephenson getting the starting nod at tackle.

Fisher wound up getting into the game when Albert left with his injury.

"Listen, I thought they did OK," Reid said. "Fish struggled a little bit early in the week and he was getting better as the week went on. Donald handled the majority of the snaps in practice. By the time we got to game time, we felt Fish was ready to go. He had to play and I thought he did a decent job."

Eric Decker (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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