KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – OCTOBER 12: Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich (80) watches the action from the sidelines on October 12, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Denver Broncos during week 6 of the NFL season at GEHA Field at Arrowhead in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)
The Broncos are hoping to get tight end Greg Dulcich back from his second stint on injured reserve at some point this season.
Head coach Sean Payton said as much Thursday as his team gets ready to travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills on Monday night.
Dulcich isn’t eligible to return from injured reserve until Week 12, but since his Week 6 injury against Kansas City, he’s not been seen in any capacity at Broncos practice. Injured players tend to work out on the side field during the portions of practice open to reporters — Dulcich did within days of his Week 1 injury — but he’s not been this time around.
“There’s a process. I know he’s one of those guys that’s working his tail off,” Payton said of the second-year tight end.
Dulcich has had four separate documented injuries to the same hamstring since getting drafted last year: During the offseason program his rookie year (cost him five games), late in his rookie year (missed the last two games), Week 1 this year (missed four games) and then Week 6.
“He’s seen specialists,” Payton said. “You look closely at other things — the gait, how much weight should he be at? He’s a little heavier than he was in college, like most players.
“So all that stuff we’re working on. But he’s obviously making progress.”
Clean sheet. Otherwise the Broncos are a healthy team as they gear up for the second half of the season.
Every active player was a full participant in Thursday’s practice and only two — Baron Browning (wrist) and Ben Powers (ankle) — were listed on the injury report at all.
In terms of injured reserve, rookie offensive lineman Alex Palczewski (hand and knee) is eligible to return at any time and receiver Brandon Johnson (hamstring) isn’t eligible until Week 13.
Extra prep. Thursday is Wednesday. Saturday is Friday. Then Tuesday is Tuesday.
Such is the football life when a team plays on Monday Night Football. The extra preparation time means the Broncos just back their practice schedule up by a day.
“It’s a Wednesday,” Payton said Thursday. “We’re all creatures of habits and routine. We had a bonus day earlier but today is like a Wednesday. Our approach will be like that all week long, so a lot of first- and second-down stuff today.”
The Broncos got a bonus practice in Tuesday and then the players had their off day Wednesday. All of that on top of the bye week leaves plenty of time to get ready for Buffalo.
“We’re a day ahead with our prep, but someone said, ‘It’d be nice if we played these games every 10 days,’” Payton said. “Obviously we don’t. What you have additional this week you get a little by subtraction next week and you adapt to it. You still have to stay away from too much, but it gives you a little more clarity when you’re looking at the film.
“Your nights aren’t quite as late when you’ve got this extra time.”
Kincaid a challenge. The Bills, of course, feature quarterback Josh Allen and All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs on offense. In recent weeks, though, rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid has seen his role increase substantially.
Kincaid, a former Utah standout, has 23 catches for 221 yards over the past three games and is coming off the best game of his young career. He had 10 catches on 11 targets for 81 yards in Sunday night’s loss to Cincinnati.
“He can definitely run and he can run well,” Denver inside linebacker Josey Jewell said. “Got a good route tree on him. He’s something of an emphasis and something we’ve got to make sure we’re going to control. They’ve been liking him a lot more as the weeks have gone along.”