ENGLEWOOD If Elvis Dumervil and D.J. Williams get their way, theyll both spend Sunday harassing San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.
Dumervil first has to show hes healthy enough to play, and Williams has to prove hes knocked off the rust.
Dumervil hasnt practiced all week but plans to test his sprained left shoulder at practice Friday in hopes the Broncos (6-3) will clear him to face the Chargers (4-5). The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end was injured at Carolina last weekend, but medical tests this week showed no torn muscles or ligaments.
My goal is to play, Dumervil said. Thats what Ive got to look toward (Friday), coming out and getting a good practice in and getting ready.
Dumervil had a similar injury to the same shoulder that sidelined him for two games and most of a third last season, but he said this injury is nowhere near as serious or as painful as that one was.
He leads the AFC with five forced fumbles and has seven sacks.
I do miss him being out here, cornerback Champ Bailey said Thursday. I dont want him to miss any time.
Neither does Von Miller, the other half of Denvers Doom & Gloom pass-rushing duo, although he still had a monster game when Dumervil went out and was replaced by Robert Ayers and rookie Malik Jackson.
Williams returned this week from two suspensions that kept him out of the first nine games.
Hes been looking good in practice, Miller said. Hes in shape. Hes right on point. Hes looking sharp. Im sure hell have fresh legs on Sunday. Im quite confident hell have a good game on Sunday.
Hell have to return to the roster first and then get activated on game day.
At any rate, it could be some time before Williams returns to a heavy load because Wesley Woodyard, Keith Brooking and Miller have played so well in his absence, as has rookie Danny Trevathan in the nickel packages.
Barring injury, Williams, the teams leading tackler in four of the last five seasons, likely will have to make his mark on special teams and in sub packages early on. Still, his teammates expect him to quickly work his way back into a prominent role.
He makes us more explosive, Dumervil said. Hes athletic, hes smart, hes a great athlete. So, its huge. I think we can do a lot more different things. Having D.J. back brings us more depth. I think guys have been playing at a high level, and having a guy like that come on board only bodes well for the stretch run.