DENVER — Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware did not practice Thursday — in part to stay off the artificial turf — and though he has yet to be ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Patriots, he is unlikely to be ready, judging by comments he made to the Denver Post.
“I wish I could,” he told the Post. “I can’t go out there and go halfway.”
Ware, who has missed the past two games and three of the past five with a back injury, received treatment and worked in the weight room. Still, coach Gary Kubiak said, “I think he’s close. I think he’s making some progress.’’
With a light snowfall, ice on the practice field, and freezing temperatures, the Broncos practiced indoors Thursday. Their $37 million indoor facility, covering 115,000 square feet, includes a 100-yard turf field. Although Kubiak said he would prefer to be outside, he won’t hesitate to use the year-old facility.
“I’m always going to do, from a safety standpoint, what I think is best for the players,’’ said Kubiak. “I will say this, this is the nicest facility that I’ve ever been a part of. Having the ability to go inside, plenty of room to work, nothing gets constricted, that’s what I really like about it.
“And we have our noise in there, too. I really like it, but if we can get out, we’re going to get out. Hopefully, we’ll be back out there tomorrow.’’
Linebacker Von Miller said that practicing indoors did not detract from preparation for the undefeated Patriots.
“No, we’re all pros,’’ he said. “Just because you’re going to be playing in 20-degree weather doesn’t mean you have to practice in it. We’re all pros. We all know what type of environment that we’re getting ready to play in.
“I mean, we practice in Denver and we play here in Denver this weekend. It’s a little bit to our advantage. We know what to expect.’’
Using his head
Kubiak said a decision has not been made as to whether injured quarterback Peyton Manning will be on the sideline Sunday night or watching from the press box. Kubiak said he would leave it up to Manning, whose left foot is in a cast. Manning’s brain power is likely to help the Broncos adjust to the Patriots throughout the game. “He’ll be involved in game day, whether that’s on the field, press box, I don’t know,’’ Kubiak said. “I’ll kind of give him that — talk to him about that as we get to the end of the week. He’s engaged in meetings, engaged in game plans, knows what’s going on.’’ . . . Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib praised the Patriots’ ability to flourish despite an injury-plagued receiving corps. “Them guys, more than anybody, they’re going to show up with a great game plan for whoever they got in there,’’ said Talib, a former Patriot. “You can take my brother, give him two weeks with Tom [Brady], and he’ll be all right, he’ll be ready. It’s that offense, that system, you can plug guys in that system and they’ll be successful.’’ . . . Asked how much he would eat at Thanksgiving dinner, Broncos guard Louis Vasquez, a 6-foot-5-inch, 335-pounder, said, “I’ll be in a food coma all day.’’ . . . On Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Talib said: “That size, that speed, and that quarterback, he don’t even really have to be open, and Tom will make him open.’’