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Denver might call on Bailey

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Champ Bailey says he's ready for an increased workload as the Broncos scramble to make up for the loss of shutdown cornerback Chris Harris while preparing to play the Patriots in Sunday's AFC title game.

Harris tore his left ACL during the win over the Chargers.

"I'm ready for whatever they want me to do," said Bailey, a 15-year veteran and three-time All-Pro seeking his first trip to the Super Bowl. "That's the way I prepare."

After Harris got hurt, Chargers QB Philip Rivers targeted Harris' replacement, 12-year veteran Quentin Jammer, repeatedly during a second-half rally that fell short only after QB Peyton Manning and the offense ran out the final 3:53 of the 24-17 win.

Bailey played in a career-low five games this season because of a sprained left foot sustained during a preseason game Aug. 17. He played the final two regular-season games and the division playoff in the slot, leaving Harris and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside.

If Denver decides not to go with Jammer, it might match Bailey up with Tom Brady's favorite target, Julian Edelman. That also would mean more playing time for former FSU standout Tony Carter and/or former USF standout Kayvon Webster.

Bailey sounded as though he has confidence his foot can hold up for a full game, which wasn't the case when he played at Kansas City on Dec. 1. He missed the second half of that game and was inactive for the next two weeks before returning in a reduced role.

Asked if he could go back to his old spot at left cornerback, Bailey said, "I'm ready to do whatever they ask me to do. We're still putting together what we're going to do this week. If that is what it comes down to, then I'll be ready for it."

Brady sits: Tom Brady did not practice, but multiple media reports said he will play Sunday. Coach Bill Belichick said only to look at the injury report, which said Brady had an illness and sore right shoulder. WR Aaron Dobson practiced for the first time since aggravating a foot injury in Week 17. His status hasn't been determined.

Harvin sits: Seahawks WR Percy Harvin, who sustained a concussion Saturday, did not practice. Coach Pete Carroll said the former Florida Gator met with doctors but there was no update on his status for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

49ers: Starting LB Ahmad Brooks missed practice with an illness. The team did not disclose its severity.

Referee: Terry McAulay will referee a Super Bowl for the third time. McAulay, in his 13th season as a referee, worked the Super Bowl in 2005, won by New England over Philadelphia, and 2009, won by Pittsburgh over Arizona.

Denver might call on Bailey 01/15/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:57pm]
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