Broncos coach Josh McDaniels came as close as anyone has this week to declaring Kyle Orton the team’s quarterback for Sunday’s regular-season opener. Orton said Wednesday he was preparing to start but wouldn’t say definitively if he would be the starter.
Today, McDaniels said if nothing changes between now and Sunday, he is “hopeful” Orton will be ready to go.
“He’s done fine,” McDaniels said. “The ability to throw the ball doesn’t seem to be hampered too much, which is good. That’s really what we’re trying to focus on. If we go through the next few days here and not have any setbacks, hopefully everything will be a go.”
Others are coming along well, McDaniels said. Receiver Jabar Gaffney, who missed the final two games with a thumb injury, could be available Sunday. McDaniels said Gaffney is in the same situation as Orton – with no setbacks, he should be able to go.
“He’s very tough,” McDaniels said. “One of the toughest players I’ve ever coached.”
With rookie running back Knowshon Moreno, McDaniels seemed to have a more wait-and-see approach. Moreno has practiced with a knee brace, although he did ditch the orange non-contact jersey on Wednesday.
“He’s working hard every day to be ready to go full strength on Sunday,” McDaniels said. “He’s doing a nice job and progressing. We’re going to evaluate all those players with injuries here the next couple days and make sure we’re fielding the healthiest and best 45 we can.”