Coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Tuesday following his team's second practice in preparation for the Baltimore Ravens.
Coach Gary Kubiak(on injury updates) "The same guys were out today that have been out. (Left guard) Wade Smith has a personal leave of absence today. He had some family issues. But everybody who was out yesterday, remained out. Of course (tight end) Owen (Daniels) and (linebacker Xavier) Adibi were back."
(on if he has any concerns of left guard Wade Smith missing Monday's game) "No. Just he has to take care of some family business and I'm going to let him do that today. Hopefully, he'll be here tomorrow while everybody else is off. He'll be back Thursday."
(on if WR Andre Johnson and DE Mario Williams are on track to come back and practice on Thursday) "They are day-to-day. Andre (Johnson) has not even made a trip over here to the field. I've kept him inside. Mario (Williams) is over here and participating in the walk-throughs and those type of things. I don't see any reason why they are not ready, but we'll see where we're at, come Thursday or Friday. We'll get going with their routine on Thursday."
(on WR Andre Johnson playing through an ankle injury through most of the season) "I think he's been absolutely amazing. I think it's kind of flown under the radar. This guy has played with a hurt ankle all year long, except for opening day. He's missed a game and a half. Really played limping around for almost a month and yet he's sitting there in the top four or five guys in the league at receiver. I'm amazed, I really am. I'm surprised more people haven't said things about it. For him to give it up for his team has been incredible."
(on how WR Andre Johnson is able to play through the ankle injury) "He knows if he gets himself to gameday and takes his shot, that he can make it through the game, first team. Y'all saw him in Philly; he could barely walk after the reverse. He goes in, takes a shot, comes out and the way he played, plays he made, is special."
(on WR Andre Johnson playing through pain) "Those high ankle sprains are very difficult to deal with. They take a long time to recover from. They're just nagging as they can be. Some players can play with them, you don't notice, like linemen. But with receivers, it's much more difficult to deal with. So for him to be able to do that is pretty good."
(on what RB Arian Foster showed him last year that made him give Foster opportunities to play more) "It wasn't so much what he had to show me in practice. I mean, he had been practicing good. It was really more about just how he handled his business in meeting rooms and those type of things. He grew up over the course of the year, which we were struggling running the ball last year. I think it was about this time we played maybe Seattle or somebody in there and we gave him an opportunity and he took advantage of it."
(on if RB Arian Foster surprised him when he was given an opportunity to carry the ball last year) "Yeah, he did. I think he did. I think anybody who would sit there and say, 'Oh, it was just going to happen.' We knew he had some ability. How he was going to take advantage of it, I don't think anybody knew. But he took advantage of it. Like I told y'all, I think I said many times, the key was how he took advantage of his situation throughout the offseason. Most get to play three or four games at the end of the year, they go through the offseason, they start back over the next season. He kept getting better."
(on if he knew about the speculation in Denver that he's a candidate to replace coach Josh McDaniels) "No. I've got enough problems right here."
(on if he sees the same attitude from his team now that allowed his past teams to finish seasons strong) "Yeah. It's been really good. Can we go and do that again? I have confidence that we can. I have confidence in the coaches and the players. I got a lot of confidence in what we are doing. We're facing a big, big task. None bigger than who we're fixing to go play. I think this is one of the top teams in football and we're going to have to play better than we've been playing to get it done. Can we do it? You bet we can do it. But we can't play a month full of football in the next two-to-three days. We've got to play Baltimore and be good enough to beat Baltimore Monday night."
(on if he's seeing the right type of attitude from his team) "They're excellent. Confidence-wise, obviously, when you've lost a few close games, it's not the same from that standpoint. As far as our work and how we're doing things, we're fine. Their heads are up. They would like to play today. It's going to be a long, long week before we step on the field again. We have to keep it in perspective and get ready to go on Monday."
(on if it's nice to hear people in Denver saying nice things about him) "Like I said, I've got enough things to worry about."
WR Andre Johnson(on dealing with a high ankle sprain for most of the season) "You see most guys, they get high ankle sprains and they sit out for awhile. That's just something I haven't decided to do. I just try to do everything I can to do whatever I can to help the team win games on Sunday. That's pretty much it. I'm going to do whatever I have to do, as far as rehab. I can deal with the pain. I'm just going to go out there and keep playing. It doesn't matter how many times I re-tweak it or whatever. The only thing that's going to keep me from playing is if it's broken."
(on what it means to him that head coach Gary Kubiak has praised his efforts in working through the injury this year) "I think if nobody really knew about it, you wouldn't think I was going through anything. I don't really talk to people about it. If you look at me walking around here, you wouldn't think anything was really bothering me, as far as an injury or anything. For him to compliment me on that, that's big by him. It just goes to show you that people pay attention to what goes on around here. But at the same time, this is my job. This is what I love doing. If I feel like I'm able to go out there and play, no matter if I'm injured or not, I'm gonna go out there and play. That's just the way I've always approached the game."
(on if this is the worst his ankle has felt) "Right now, it's still sore. I wouldn't say it's the worst it has felt all season. I think the worst it's felt this season is when I missed the Oakland game and that's why I didn't play. Other than that, it's sore. Like I said before, at times, it's going to get tweaked and stuff. It's going to be paining me. In order for me to play, I just have to deal with the pain. If I can deal with it, I'm going to go out and play and just try to do everything I can to help the team win the game."
(on how he plays through pain and is as effective as he is) "I just try not to worry about it. When I'm out there, I don't think about it. I just go for it. I just approach the game like nothing's wrong with me. I don't think about it when I'm playing. You can tell it bothers me, though. Sometimes, when I take some tackles, you'll see me get off the ground slow or whatever and try and make the pain simmer down. To be honest, I don't know. I just go out and play. Like I said, I don't really let it bother me. I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help this organization be successful. I'll continue doing it."
(on the Baltimore Ravens' defense) "Every year, you look at the Ravens' defense and they're right up there at the top. The way they played the other night, I mean, you just look at their intensity in the game. Very physical and very talented. They have a lot of great players over there and it's going to be a big challenge for us. At the same time, we have to go out and execute our offense and protect the quarterback. I think if we do that, we'll be fine."