The Denver Broncos had a few key players return to practice on Wednesday as they prepare for this week's big match-up against the New England Patriots, but they still had a couple of notable absences. According to Andrew Mason of MaxDenver.com, safety Brian Dawkins and wide receiver Eric Decker were on the sideline during the team's practices on Wednesday.
Dawkins missed last week's game against Pittsburgh in order to heal up his neck, which still appears to be bothering him. He missed practice on Tuesday as well, so the Broncos may end up being forced to go with David Bruton in his place once again this week. Decker injured his knee against the Steelers last week, and after sitting on once again on Wednesday, it's unlikely that he'll play against the Patriots.
In some good news, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, tight end Daniel Fells and back-up safety Bruton all returned to practice on Wednesday after sitting out on Tuesday.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on this game, visit Broncos blog, Mile High Report, and Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit. Head over to SB Nation NFL for more coverage of the 2012 NFL Playoffs.