Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway remained listed as “questionable” on the team’s injury report until late last week, but Coach Dan Reeves said Elway’s sprained right ankle was visibly improved.
“He seemed like he was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more confident than he was yesterday,” Reeves said.
Trainer Steve Antonopulos said Elway experienced diminished soreness and swelling in the ankle, and Reeves said the club is confident Elway will be near 100% for Monday night’s game at Indianapolis.
Elway wore a high-top shoe on his right foot during Thursday’s practice.
Offensive guard Keith Bishop sat out the practice to give his broken thumb some rest. “He’s still experiencing a lot of pain,” Reeves said. “We thought holding him out would help.”
Rookie Gerald Perry would move into the starting lineup if Bishop can’t play. “He’s really improved,” Reeves said of the 305-pound Perry. “He’s come a long ways, so we’d feel comfortable with him in there.”
The Broncos worked out in their dome Thursday, using the facility to condition themselves to artificial turf and to the crowd noise they’ll likely experience in the Hoosier Dome Monday night.
Instead of the taped crowd noise the team once practiced with, Reeves had his players hoot and holler. They got creative by chanting “El-way, El-way” during part of the workout.
The Broncos have struggled on artificial turf the last three seasons, losing nine of their last 10 games on that surface. Before that, however, they won seven straight games on artificial turf.
The Denver defense was bracing for the wishbone, an alignment the Colts used in the fourth quarter of their 16-0 victory over San Diego last week.
Although Indianapolis Coach Ron Meyer said the wishbone was only an “auxiliary offense” and that the team figured to use it only when they have the lead, the Broncos expected to see it.
“They’re showing it, so you have to prepare for it,” linebacker Jim Ryan said. “It’s a nuisance more than anything. It’s a good thing to use if you’re just trying to hold onto the ball.”