KUSA - Champ Bailey played his first game of the season Sunday, and the Denver Broncos veteran cornerback provided a calming voice for a troubled secondary.
After the first five weeks, the Broncos' defense ranked last in the league in pass defense (allowing 347.0 yards per game). Bailey had practiced the past three weeks but had not played since spraining his foot in the Aug. 17 preseason game.
"It was a tough challenge, I'll tell you that," Bailey said. "It definitely wasn't a cake walk. It was challenging, but I got one under my belt and I feel good going forward."
Bailey had a bit of rust early and gave up a 22-yard play to Justin Blackmon on the Jaguars' second drive. But Bailey finished with six tackles, broke up three passes and intercepted a two-point conversion try by Chad Henne to keep the Jaguars from tying the score just before halftime.
"Absolutely, he's going to be a good receiver for a long time," Bailey said of Blackmon. "I really gave him props because he worked hard. He's on a team that's 0-5 and guys can get down, but that shows how special he is. He kept working, he kept grinding and he looks good. "
While Bailey returned, fifth-year veteran cornerback Tony Carter was on the inactive list. Rookie Kayvon Webster had his first career interception early in the fourth quarter at the Denver 49-yard line. The Broncos scored five plays later to take a 35-19 lead and secure the win.
"Guys stepped up today and I'm real proud of them," Bailey said.
Broncos coach John Fox said the defense felt Bailey's leadership.
"When you're out there playing the game, you need a calming effect," Fox said. "Champ definitely gives that to our defense, especially with (linebacker) Wesley Woodyard not out there, really for two weeks in a row. It was very exciting to have him back."
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