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Elway May Return vs. Raiders

Taking an uncharacteristically cautious approach to his rib injury last week, John Elway sat out Monday night's game in Kansas City.

But enough is enough.

Elway reported improvement on Wednesday and said he planned on playing Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

"I'm feeling a lot better and a lot less sore," the Denver Broncos quarterback said.

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  • Asked if he expected to play on Sunday, he said, "I'm hoping so, unless I have a setback, which I don't anticipate."

    Might he consider taking another week off to make sure his ribs are completely healed?

    "No," he said. "If I'm ready to play and I can play to the level I need to play to help this team, then I'm going to play. I'm through the point where really the pain was a factor. It's still my job to play."

    "It's no fun (not playing), there's no question about that. I'd much rather be out there."

    Elway has missed all or part of six games this season because of hamstring, back and rib injuries.

    He was bothered by a rib cartilage injury during the week prior to the San Diego game on Nov. 8 and aggravated the injury during pregame warmups. He managed to play only the second series of the game before retiring in pin.

    John Elway
    John Elway has looked strong in practice this week. (AP)

    Saying he also came back too soon from a hamstring injury earlier in the year, Elway vowed last week to never again rush back from an injury. He watched Monday night's game against AFC West rival Kansas City in street clothes from the sideline as backup Bubby Brister engineered a 30-7 victory, improving Denver's record to 10-0.

    If Elway returns to the lineup on Sunday, he can again set his sights on the 50,000-yard career passing plateau. He needs just 30 yards to join Miami's Dan Marino as the only players to reach that level.

    Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Elway "looked pretty good" in Wednesday's workout. "He went through the full practice," Shanahan said. "He was throwing the ball downfield, and he didn't feel any repercussions right after practice. So, hopefully, he still feels good."

    Brister said he expected Elway to play on Sunday.

    "He looks pretty good, and he's in good spirits," Brister said. "That's what I'm excited to see because he's been down a little bit because he was hurt."

    "It's John's team. I'm glad I could fill in and get the job done, but I want to see him have success. I want to see him get another Super Bowl, and then maybe next year I can play."

    Elway has said he plans to retire after this season.

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