Broncos limping after Monday night game

Posted Sep 13, 2011

Barely had the Tim Tebow chants from Monday night’s loss to the Raiders died down when Broncos head coach John Fox quickly answered his quarterback question Tuesday when he said Kyle Orton was the starter for Sunday’s game against the visiting Bengals (4:15 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12).

Don’t expect Fox’s good friend, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, to be as quick or as decisive Wednesday when asked about the status of his quarterback. It’s believed that Andy Dalton’s injured right wrist is in a day-to-day situation and even if it wasn’t Lewis probably isn’t going to do Fox any favors by telling him who is going to play quarterback.

But Fox has plenty of injury questions himself after former Bengals receivers coach Hue Jackson’s head coaching debut saw his Raiders do some physical damage. The Denver Post reported Tuesday night the Bengals may not see cornerback Champ Bailey, running back Knowshon Moreno and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. According to the paper, Bailey and Moreno suffered strained hamstrings in the second half while Lloyd left with a strained groin and none of them returned.

Plus, leading sacker Elvis Dumervil reaggravated a left shoulder strain and it was expected that Fox would elaborate on his situation Wednesday.

The big break the Bengals have early in the schedule is that five of their first six games are against teams coming off brutal seasons on defense, particularly stopping the run. It was a big factor Sunday when Bengals running back Cedric Benson pounded the Browns with 121 yards on 25 carries after Cleveland finished last season 27th stopping the run last year.

Denver finished next to last defending the run in 2010 and when there were still 11 minutes left in Monday’s game the Broncos had already allowed 168 yards rushing to Oakland.

The 49ers, the opponent for the Sept. 25 home opener, finished sixth last year, but the next three foes (Buffalo, Jacksonville and Indianapolis) finished last season ranked last, 22nd, and 25th, respectively, against the run.

The NFL dug out the fact Tuesday that when Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green caught that 41-yard touchdown pass in the Bengals 27-17 win at Cleveland, it was the longest fourth-quarter game-winning TD catch in NFL history by a rookie in his team’s first game. It wasn’t even close. Cobb Rooney of the Duluth Kelleys in 1924 caught a 22-yarder.

VOTE FOR BENSON: Bengals running back Cedric Benson is one of three nominees for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week.

The GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week is the best moment or play of the week that represents determination and perseverance. Benson secured Cincinnati’s victory over the division-rival Cleveland Browns with a 39-yard game-clinching touchdown run with 18 seconds left.

Fans may vote on beginning immediately following Monday Night Football and ending on Friday at noon ET to determine the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week. The winner will be announced Friday during NFL Network's "Around the League" show and then posted on


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