McDaniels hopes Orton will start for Broncos |

McDaniels hopes Orton will start for Broncos

Benjamin Hochman
The Denver Post
Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton (8) wore a glove during practice as he chats with Head Coach Josh McDaniels Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at Dove Valley. Orton had his right index finger taped after sustaining a cut on the finger in the last pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals after a throw. John Leyba, The Denver Post

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels is “hopeful” that quarterback Kyle Orton will start in Denver’s opener at Cincinnati on Sunday, the coach said today.

Orton has practiced since Tuesday, while battling the dislocated knuckle he suffered during the preseason, and McDaniels said that “he’s done fine. The ability to throw the ball doesn’t seem to be hampered too much, and that’s really what we’re trying to focus on and make sure we go through the next few days here and not have any setbacks, and hopefully everything will be a go.”

The optimistic coach also believes receiver Jabar Gaffney and rookie running back Knowshon Moreno will be able to play in the opener. Gaffney, recovering from a broken thumb, is “one of the toughest players I’ve ever coached,” McDaniels said, “and if he just keeps progressing and there’s no setbacks, he should be good to go. He’s very tough.”

The first-rounder Moreno, the Georgia product who sprained his MCL on Aug 14, “is working hard every day to be ready to go at full-strength on Sunday,” McDaniels said. “He’s doing a nice job and progressing, so we’re going to evaluate all those players with injuries in the next couple days and make sure we’re fielding the healthiest and best 45 we can.”

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