ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Although the schedule gets easier for the Denver Broncos this month, the degree of difficulty in reaching the playoffs keeps going up.
The Broncos (6-6) lost leading wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a ruptured left Achilles tendon on Wednesday. He was hurt in a non-contact drill at the beginning of practice.
The 31-year-old receiver was placed on injured reserve and on Wednesday night he tweeted , "If you know me then you know nothing can keep me down. I've overcome too much in life to let this stop me. I'll be back next year w/ a bigger chip on my shoulder ... I PROMISE!"
The Broncos quickly claimed wide receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from Buffalo, giving them a seventh-year veteran to go with their four remaining receivers, all of whom made their NFL debuts this season.
Sanders, who led the team with 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns in a bounce-back year, was injured on a routine route. He sensed the gravity of the injury as he crumbled to the ground, tearing off his helmet and rolling it away as teammates and trainers rushed toward him.
"It didn't look good," coach Vance Joseph said, adding Sanders "was sore last week in his heel area and he felt great today."
Sanders' injury was the latest blow to a team that's lost seven starters from its opening-day lineup, including six on offense.
"It hurt, especially with an Achilles injury, that's a major injury," rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton said. "He was our leader and he was a coach, too, so it was hard to watch."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Sam Darnold was a full participant at practice, putting him on track to start for the New York Jets at Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday.
The rookie quarterback has missed the past three games with a strained right foot. Coach Todd Bowles says Wednesday that it's too early in the week to say for sure if Darnold will start.
Darnold was injured against Miami on Nov. 4 and hasn't played since. He returned to practice on a limited basis last week, but was not active as Josh McCown started in his place for the third time. Bowles said the No. 3 overall pick was working on shaking off the rust by getting his timing right.
McCown had one touchdown pass and four interceptions filling in for Darnold, and the Jets went 0-3 in those games.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - New York Giants safety and leading tackler Landon Collins is going to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
The Giants said Wednesday that Collins has a partially torn labrum and will need surgery. The team had said earlier Collins would not play Sunday in Washington.
The expected recovery time for this type of injury can be anywhere from four to six months.
Collins was not in the locker room before the practice to comment.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State running back LJ Scott says he will enter the NFL draft after this season.
Scott, a senior, injured his ankle in September and has played in only four games this year. Coach Mark Dantonio said last month that Scott would redshirt , but Scott said on social media Wednesday night that he has decided to enter the draft.
"Having dealt with various humbling injuries during the 2018 regular season, I initially believed the best plan for me was to return. ... As the season has drawn closer to an end, I've had time to properly reflect and discuss all of my options with my coaches and family to decide the absolute best course of action for me going forward," Scott said. "After a ton of thought, prayer, and careful consideration, I have decided to enter the 2019 NFL Draft as a senior."