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Denver Broncos back at practice coming off weekend break

3:02 PM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos head coach John Fox reacts during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Chargers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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KUSA - The Denver Broncos were back at practice Wednesday preparing for Houston, and even though the Texans a struggling, the Broncos aren't taking them lightly. 

Denver (11-3) plays Sunday against a Texans team that has lost 12 in a row after opening the season with two wins. Houston fired coach Gary Kubiak on Dec. 6 and also will have a new starting quarterback Sunday.

"I think we've done a good job of treating all of our opponents the same. We don't look at the records," quarterback Peyton Manning said Wednesday. "We're trying to get a win. We're disappointed about last week's game. We got beat, got whipped, in a lot of areas."

With the weekend break, Manning was rested and practiced in full this week. He had been taking off Wednesdays since injuring his ankle.

The biggest absence remains Broncos receiver Wes Welker. He did not practice Wednesday and continues to recover from a concussion sustained in the Dec. 8 game against Tennessee. 

Broncos coach John Fox said Wednesday that Welker is "not cleared to participate yet" and remains day-to-day. He did not play last week against the San Diego, and he also had a concussion in the Nov. 17 game.

"We certainly hope Wes can play," said Manning, who again praised Andre Caldwell's play against the Chargers.

Defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey had his first practice Wednesday with the Broncos after being signed Tuesday.

"We've got people who know him and know about his production," Fox said. "The guy's a clean slate coming here, and he had a good first day's work."

Mincey has 41 career starts in six seasons, and played for Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio when they both were in Jacksonville. He also played there with Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.

"We're turning into the Jacksonville Broncos," Manning joked.

Defensive back Kayvon Webster, who had surgery on his thumb last week, also did not practice Wednesday.

Houston interim coach Wade Phillips said Wednesday that Matt Schaub will start at quarterback for an injured Case Keenum on Sunday.

The Broncos finish the regular season Dec. 29 at Oakland, and while the Broncos have secured a playoff spot, they are working to keep their No. 1 seed.

Denver is tied with Kansas City in the AFC West (but the Broncos hold the tiebreaker) and a game ahead of New England for the overall top spot. If Kansas City wins the AFC West, the Broncos fall from the first seed to the fifth, behind all the other division winners no matter their records.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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