The Denver Broncos have dealt with some unfortunate injuries to start this season and could be without one of their top defensive players for the second consecutive week.

Denver Broncos could be without Justin Simmons on Sunday

Justin Simmons returned to practice earlier this week for the Broncos after missing all of last week with a hip injury, including Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.

He was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday, but he did not participate in Friday’s practice and was spotted on the side field during the media viewing portion of practice.

Simmons was officially designated as questionable following Friday’s practice.

The Broncos’ defense will have to find a way to bounce back after last week’s debacle saw them surrender a league-high 726 total yards of offense. Simmons’ presence was evidently missed last week in the passing game, but Delarrin Turner-Yell will more than likely get another opportunity to get reps and fill in for the Broncos All-Pro if he’s unable to go on Sunday.

Other Broncos injury updates ahead of Sunday

During Friday’s practice, Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry was spotted heading off the field during team stretch with two trainers. Head coach Sean Payton disclosed that Cushenberry was dealing with an illness and that he should be fine to go for Sunday’s game.

Defensive tackle Mike Purcell (ribs) did not participate for a third consecutive day on Friday and will be out for Sunday’s game against the Bears. Keep an eye on Tyler Lancaster, Elijah Garcia, or PJ Mustipher to get an opportunity to see elevated playing time on Sunday.

Inside linebacker Josey Jewell (hip) did not practice this week after he suffered the injury during the team’s loss on Sunday. He will miss Sunday’s game for the Broncos defensively.

Rookie linebacker Drew Sanders will more than likely receive his first career NFL start opposite of Alex Singleton. It will be interesting to monitor whether or not Sanders plays as the Mike backer position or Will this week.

Outside linebacker Frank Clark (hip) will also miss Sunday’s game, but could be in line to return next week when the Broncos host the New York Jets.

The Chicago Bears will be without three of their key defensive backs on Sunday against the Broncos.

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, nickel corner Josh Blackwell, and safety Eddie Jackson will all miss Sunday’s game. This opens things up for the Broncos passing attack to air things out.