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Old 08-25-2005, 08:34 AM  
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Chump Bailey sidelined until Broncos opener

By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer

The Broncos have decided star cornerback Champ Bailey will spend the next 17 days dedicated to rehabilitating a pesky hamstring injury.

Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday in all likelihood Bailey will miss the team's final two preseason games in hopes of being ready for the regular- season opener against Miami at Dolphins Stadium on Sept. 11.

Bailey, who didn't play in the Broncos' first two preseason games, has twice aggravated the injury. He hasn't fully participated in practice since the first full week of training camp.

Rookie cornerback Darrent Williams, who started the first two preseason games, is expected to continue to spell Bailey.

It's no surprise Bailey is being shelved for the preseason. He clearly won't be pushed to play Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field at Mile High. Also, Shanahan doesn't usually play his starters in the final preseason game, which is Sept. 2 at Arizona.

"We just want him to get better and ready for the regular season," Shanahan said. "I have no worries. He'll be ready."

Bailey has been durable throughout his career. Since entering the NFL in 1999, he has played in all 96 regular-season games, the only cornerback during that time to play every game.

Bailey knows it's realistic that he is likely to sit for the remainder of the preseason.

"I'm always trying to stay optimistic about my playing chances, but who knows? If I'm not ready, I won't go," said Bailey, who said he will play in Denver's regular-season opener. "I try to take it day-by-day because every day I see improvement.

"It's not enough improvement. It's not what I want. So I've got to be patient with this thing."
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:45 AM   #2
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