ENGLEWOOD - The good news for the Denver Broncos on Monday was that cornerback Champ Bailey and running back Mike Anderson are not seriously injured and both could play this weekend. The bad news was the coaches and players watched the film of Sunday’s 34-10 loss to Miami and it looked as bad as it did in person. Anderson separated rib cartilage and could play Sunday if he can stand the pain, probably with the help of a painkilling shot. Bailey dislocated his left shoulder but did not separate it. The injury probably will sideline Bailey 1-2 weeks, but coach Mike Shanahan said Bailey had “an outside chance” of playing against San Diego. Shanahan said Bailey and Anderson will be evaluated through the week. The Broncos spent Monday evaluating Sunday’s poor performance. “We’ve got a lot of games left so I don’t think we can get too carried away,” Shanahan said. “What you have to do is look at yourself and say, ‘Hey, why did we play poorly? What do we have to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?’ So you have to be tough on yourself, but at the same time be realistic.” Shanahan wasn’t upset with his team’s effort, but he couldn’t remember coaching another game in which his offense did so little to help the defense. The Broncos were 1-of-12 on third-down conversions and, until the final possession, didn’t have a drive longer than 43 yards. Only two of Denver’s first nine drives lasted longer than four plays, including a sevenplay drive with four snaps inside the 5-yard line. The exhausted defense allowed three touchdowns in the final 20 minutes. “We did not do a very good job on offense,” Shanahan said. “I cannot put my thumb on it because there was some great effort. Guys played hard, but you have to have 11 guys out there playing together.” The final score was lopsided but the Broncos were trailing by just three points for most of the third quarter, which gave the team a strange feeling of optimism going forward. “It was surprising to me because even with all the bad stuff we did, we were still in the game into the third quarter,” receiver Ashley Lelie said. Anderson and Bailey both expressed optimism they’d be ready for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. Bailey missed all but one play of the second half against Miami. A separated shoulder means there is damage to the ligaments surrounding the shoulder. Bailey’s shoulder only popped out of its joint and was put back into place on the sideline. “I won’t say I’ll have to be totally 100 percent,” Bailey said. “I’ll be in pain throughout the year anyway, so why not play through this if I can?” Anderson had a painkilling shot during Sunday’s game but it didn’t help much. He was hopeful that with a week to heal, he could get through this weekend’s game. “If I can endure, if I can run and not have a hard time breathing, I’m out there,” Anderson said. CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org NEXT San Diego (0-1) at Denver (0-1) 2:05 p.m. Sunday, CBS, 740/850 AM
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