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Broncos QB Case Keenum skips practice with sore knee

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

By ARNIE STAPLETON

AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Case Keenum said he'll be back directing Denver's offense Thursday after missing Wednesday's workout with a sore knee.

"I woke up Monday a little sore ," Keenum said. "I could have practiced today. I wanted to practice today, but they wouldn't let me. So, a good mental day, come back and be ready to go tomorrow."

Although Keenum has thrown four interceptions already after getting picked off just seven times last year in Minnesota, he's led the Broncos to their sixth straight 2-0 start with a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks.

But he can't remember tweaking his knee in Denver's 20-19 win over Oakland on Sunday.

"I couldn't tell you. I just woke up sore. Ran it a few times there. A few hits in the pocket. But a tough defense. They came after us," Keenum said. "And a lot of guys were sore, but it was a good sore after that game."

Keenum was hit five times in the pocket, sacked once, and ran three times for 16 yards, including a 1-yard TD in the fourth quarter, the fourth of his six-year NFL career.

"Yeah, I guess I need to slide a few more times than go around bouncing off defenders," Keenum cracked. "But I want to get a first down. I want to score. I'm competitive that way."

Keenum has never been known as a running threat although he did rush 40 times for 160 yards and a score in leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game last year.

"Yeah, I'm going to be me," Keenum said. "I'm going to realize, too, that I'm a lot better quarterback than I am a running back.

"Why'd you laugh so hard?"

Because, even he admitted running right into his center on his touchdown keeper Sunday, so his running style leaves a little to be desired.

"I know. I know. I felt bad. Yeah, I definitely could be better running the ball or just handing it off," Keenum said. "But yeah, I'm a competitor and that's me. I want to win. I hate losing and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get first downs to move the ball down the field."

Except practice through the soreness.

"Just making sure. I want to play 16, 20 weeks. Not just a few weeks," said Keenum.

Coach Vance Joseph said he wasn't worried that Keenum would be unable to play Sunday at Baltimore (1-1).

Nevertheless, Joseph expressed confidence in backup Chad Kelly , who ran the offense Wednesday for the first time since winning the backup QB job this summer.

"He looked fine," Joseph said. "He should be. He's our 2 and if he had to play, I have no worries."

Notes: RT Jared Veldheer (concussion), ILB Brandon Marshall (knee) and CB Adam Jones (thigh) also missed practice. This marked the first time the Broncos had any players sit out for injury this season. "I'm very hopeful all four guys should have a chance to play" Sunday, Joseph said.

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Updated September 19, 2018

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