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Broncos CB Bailey practices, says he'll play

DENVER (Sept. 15, 2005) -- Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who hasn't missed a game in his seven-year NFL career, practiced in pads and said he expects to keep the streak going Sept. 18 against San Diego despite a dislocated shoulder.

"If I'm in pads during the week, I'm probably going to play," Bailey said. "So, there's no doubt that I'll probably be out there. As long as I don't have any setbacks, I'll be fine."

Bailey has started all 97 regular-season games since he entered the league in 1999. Last week against Miami, he dislocated his left shoulder making a tackle in the third quarter.

He was listed as questionable and coach Mike Shanahan said he figured Bailey might miss a week or two.

But after checking with trainers, Bailey decided to put on pads and practice with his arm in a harness to support the injured shoulder.

"They always give you the things that could happen, the risks you take," Bailey said. "At the same time, I'm aware of that and I don't really care. I just want to play football and help us win."

Early in the workout, he tried to jam receiver Ashley Lelie, who hit back hard, but didn't cause Bailey any pain.

"It was nonexistent, most of it," Bailey said of the pain. "There were moments where I turned certain ways, or put my arm certain ways where I could feel it, but nothing real extreme."

Shanahan said Bailey "looked pretty good" on the practice field and that he was surprised the All-Pro cornerback could return so quickly.

"It gives you an idea of how tough he is," Shanahan said.

Nobody was as surprised as Bailey himself.

"I was a little shocked with the recovery I made so fast," Bailey said. "I didn't think I'd be able to do anything today. I thought maybe tomorrow, but not today."

Running back Mike Anderson, who left the Dolphins game with a rib injury, attended a funeral and did not practice. He was listed as questionable and will return to practice Sept. 16.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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