The Denver Broncos are hopeful that safety P.J. Locke can return this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. He’ll have to make progress in his recovery in Thursday and Friday’s practice in order for that to happen.

Denver Broncos safety P.J. Locke misses Wednesday’s practice

The Denver Broncos are facing a tough test on Sunday when the Cleveland Browns come to town, and they’ll need to find some solidarity at the safety position. With Kareem Jackson’s four-game suspension upheld, the Broncos are hoping that P.J. Locke will be ready to go.

Thursday and Friday’s practice will be crucial toward determining whether or not Locke has a chance to go because he missed Wednesday’s practice as he continues to rehab an ankle injury he suffered in the Broncos Monday Night Football win against the Buffalo Bills.

However, Locke was spotted in pads and a helmet on Wednesday and did all of his work on the team’s side field with medical trainers. The fact that he was in pads is a promising development that could see him return to practice on Thursday, potentially.

In the event Locke is unable to go, Broncos head coach Sean Payton said that the team has a plan.

“We’ll rep a few different players there,” Payton said. “We’ll see where we’re at health-wise. There’s not a whole lot to say. We kind of went through the process. He had an appeals process yesterday, and it kind of is what it is right now.”

One possibility could be rookie safety JL Skinner seeing more of an increased role. Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings was the first game the rookie safety was active for this season.

“We felt like the last three weeks, you really started noticing him on scout team with his movement,” Payton said about Skinner. “He has a good handle on what we’re doing. He’ll have to be ready. He’s got good length and ball skills. There’s no exact timeframe for rookies. I give them a hard time. In college, sometimes you get a redshirt year and there’s that sense of urgency here where it’s like, ‘Hey, let’s go.’ In the last month, we feel like he’s really picked things up and he’s playing with better eyes [and is] quicker.”

Broncos Wednesday practice report

Following Wednesday’s practice, the team announced their status report.


  • Outside linebacker Baron Browning (wrist).
  • Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto (shoulder).
  • Defensive lineman Mike Purcell (elbow).


  • Linebacker Josey Jewell (back).
  • Defensive tackle D.J. Jones (knee).
  • Running back Samaje Perine (knee).

Did Not Participate:

  • Safety P.J. Locke (foot).

The Broncos will practice on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. MT kickoff.