A 17-3 win at San Diego last weekend did more than keep the Denver Broncos on pace to secure their fifth consecutive AFC West title, it showed the team they’re capable of winning despite injuries. And boy do the Broncos have injuries.

Heading into their Week 14 game against the Oakland Raiders, 22 players were listed on the final Friday injury report, 10 of whom were ruled ‘out’ or listed as ‘questionable’ to play.

Denver will be without their second leading tackler, Danny Trevathan, and safety T.J. Ward will miss his second game in a row with an ankle injury. C.J. Anderson reportedly will not play as well, and Ward‘s backups, David Bruton and Omar Bolden, are both questionable.

But as defensive end Malik Jackson told Sports Stampede on Mile High Sports AM 1340 this week, Denver gained confidence in their ability to win despite injuries with their victory in San Diego.

“It showed that we can when even when guys go down,” Jackson said, referring to the loss of Anderson, Bruton, Bolden and Vernon Davis mid-game, not to mention Ward and Sylvester Williams who were ruled out prior to the game against the Chargers.

Williams is probable for Sunday’s game against Oakland, which will be important for stopping the run. Denver was susceptible up the middle at times against San Diego and had to rely on linebackers Trevathan and Brandon Marshall to keep the Chargers backs from breaking big plays. Without Trevathan this week, Williams will be critical in keeping Oakland’s interior runs contained on the first level.

Oakland has “a balanced offense and a good young quarterback” in Derek Carr, says Jackson. The Raiders are much improved because of Carr and rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper, who was limited himself in practice this week with a foot injury.

“We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to get that perfect game,” Jackson said of the Denver defense.

Given all the injuries they’re facing, perfection at this point might be walking away with a win, and with everyone intact.

Listen to the full interview with Malik Jackson, plus some talk about Charles Woodson and the Heisman Trophy, in the podcast below…

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