ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — ENGLEWOOD – Von Miller and Alexander Johnson returned from knee injuries to practice Friday, a good sign the Broncos’ two defensive stars will play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Still, Miller and Johnson are listed as questionable and head coach Vic Fangio said they are both “truly 50-50” to play.
For Miller, this is the closest he has come to not playing in a game since he tore his ACL in game 15 of the 2013 season. He has played in 91 consecutive games since – 95 in a row counting playoffs.
He has been bothered by knee soreness since missing a training camp practice on August 17. It was considered minor soreness at the time, and indeed he didn’t miss another practice until after the Broncos’ No. 8 regular season game that was played on the turf in Indianapolis.
He missed one practice after the game, but no more until he tweaked his knee away from the play with about 4 minutes left in the game last Sunday at Buffalo, which also has artificial turf for its playing surface.
Miller missed practices Wednesday and Thursday, but returned Friday.
Josey Jewell is ready for more playing time if Johnson is limited and Justin Hollins will return from his hamstring injury if Miller needs a spell.
Isaac Yiadom replaces Davontae Harris
Second-year cornerback Isaac Yiadom was a starter the first three games this season, but was benched late in game 3 at Green Bay and replaced by De’Vante Bausby.
After Bausby suffered a season-ending cervical sprain, Davontae Harris became the Broncos’ starting cornerback the next six games.
But now Yiadom is getting his starting job back after Harris was picked on the past two games.
“I am. I’m excited,’’ Yiadom said.
“It’s been a little shaky, that position,’’ Fangio said. “On Wednesday, Davontae didn’t have a good practice and Ike did and has been practicing good. I just felt like Ike deserved to play.”
Right tackle Ja’Wuan James has been medically cleared to play from his left knee but Fangio said he was not mentally or emotionally ready to play. Huh?
James is on the books for $17 million this year -- $5 million salary and $12 million signing bonus. He’s played a little more than a quarter in two brief appearances this year. Dollar for dollar, he’s been a bigger disappointment than cornerback Bryce Callahan, who hasn’t played at all but is drawing considerably less at $6.5 million.
James pulled a rarity this week: He was a full participant for all three practices yet is listed as questionable to play against the Chargers.
“He’ll either play, meaning start and play, or he won’t dress,’’ Fangio said.
James split reps with Elijah Wilkinson at right tackle this week with James running with the second team. Which indicates he may need another week to get mentally ready.
Nickel cornerback Duke Dawson Jr. was cleared from concussion protocol Friday morning, which also would clear him to play Sunday against the Chargers.
Fangio said newly acquired cornerback Shakial Taylor would not dress so Dawson would appear to be in line to play.
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