Bengals News

Broncos at Patriots inactives; Julius Thomas out; Wes Welker in


November 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (80) is looked at by medical staff after an injury during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Two of best teams in the NFL will be on display tonight as the 9-1 Denver Broncos head to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots in a game that will matchup not only the two teams likeliest to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but also a battle between two future hall of fame quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. With 34 TD passes in 10 games, Manning is on pace to break the NFL single-season record of 50 TD passes set by Brady in 2007, three years after Manning threw for a then-record 49 TDs.

But Manning will be without one of his top targets, as tight end Julius Thomas is out with a knee injury.

Wide receiver Wes Welker will be making his return to New England in hopes of helping the Broncos earn a fourth-straight win. A concussion suffered in this past Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs had him looking questionable to play tonight, but a full week of practice and clearance for contact will be enough for him to suit-up tonight. With 672 catches and 37 touchdown in his six seasons in New England, Welker was Brady’s most reliable receiver, but now he’s Manning’s favorite target with his 61 catches for 648 yards and nine touchdowns this year.

Speaking of the 9-2 Chiefs, the Broncos need to win this game just to keep pace with their AFC West rivals, who they must face in Arrowhead next week. The Patriots have won three straight over the Broncos, while Manning is 2-7 all-time against Brady in Foxborough. Both teams want this game, but Denver needs this game, and Manning tends to struggle when the games are big and the weather is cold.


Steve Gregory, S

Michael Hoomanawanui, TE

Steve Beauharnais, LB

Chris Barker, OL

Josh Boyce, WR

Jake Bequette, DE

Marcus Forston, DL


Zac Dysert, QB

Ronnie Hillman, RB

Champ Bailey, CB

Michael Huff, S

J.D. Walton, C

Chris Kuper, G

Julius Thomas, TE