Heading into Super Bowl 50, both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers have injury issues they hope are resolved on the right side by the time they play for the NFL championship. The AFC champions are hoping T.J. Ward, Darian Stewart and Louis Vasquez won’t have to sit the game out, while the NFC representatives have the same concerns regarding Thomas Davis and Jared Allen.
Both Ward and Stewart were limited on the most recent practice held by the Broncos, but they’re on the right track to be ready for sunday. Ward hurt his ankle on November 28, missed three games and then re-injured the ankle in the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots. Stewart is recovering from a knee sprain he suffered in the same game. Right now they’re listed as limited, but Gary Kubiak expects them both to play against the Panthers.
They’re listed as limited today. But I think they’re right where they need to be, working toward game day. They need to get their confidence as the week goes on. But they took the step they needed to take today. Ward is still favoring his ankle, but a lot less than before. Stewart seems completely healthy, but the Broncos are trying to keep it an easy workload for him.
As for Vasquez, he’s also been listed as limited, but Kubiak expects him to play too. He, like Stewart, has been dealing with a knee injury for the last two weeks, but the offensive lineman, just like the two safeties, should be able to take at least a small part in the action of Super Bowl 50.
Allen and Davis are trying to recover from more serious injuries for the Panthers. Allen has a broken foot he’s trying to forget about while Davis suffered from a broken forearm in the NFC title game but like Allen, isn’t planning on letting it get in his way. Allen didn’t play in the NFC championship game and has been limited in practice, but hopes to gets cleared for Sunday’s game. From what Ron Rivera has been saying, it’s more likely he’ll be on the field for the team’s second Super Bowl appearance.
Davis was a full participant in practice unlike Allen (limited), wearing a protective cast. He also needs to get cleared by the doctors, but practicing without any restrictions pretty much means the linebacker will be available against the Broncos. Allen is close to that, but the Panthers are trying to keep him as rested as possible in the few days remaining before the game.