Broncos rule out receivers Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer vs. Redskins

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) adjusts his helmet during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Denver. The Patriots won 41-16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Injured wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer didn't make the Denver Broncos' trip to Washington and will miss Sunday's game against the Redskins.

Sanders has been dealing with a sprained ankle and Latimer a bruised thigh. They were listed as questionable this week.

Sanders is the Broncos' second-leading receiver behind Demaryius Thomas and Latimer has emerged down the stretch as the next-best receiver in addition to being their top gunner and a key member of other special teams units.

That means the Broncos' receiving corps will consist of Thomas, Bennie Fowler III, Jordan Taylor and rookie Isaiah McKenzie, their punt returner who was benched after fumbling six times.

The Broncos (5-9) didn't announce who their starting quarterback would be against the Redskins (6-8), but it looks like they're leaning toward Brock Osweiler because Paxton Lynch still hasn't recovered from a sprained left ankle he suffered a month ago in Oakland in his only start of the season.

Lynch limped out of the locker room Friday while Osweiler was still preparing for what would be his fourth start of the season.

Osweiler is coming off one of the best performances of his career. He relieved an injured Trevor Siemian at Indianapolis last week and engineered three touchdown drives in leading Denver to a 25-13 come-from-behind victory.

That didn't automatically earn him the starting nod for the final two games, however.

Coach Vance Joseph said the organization wanted Lynch to play over the final two weeks after Siemian (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve. The problem is that Lynch, the Broncos' first-round draft pick in 2016, can't step into his throws properly because of his sprained ankle.

Although the quarterbacks shared snaps at practice all week, Lynch was limited the whole time.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said if Lynch isn't healthy enough to start, he could still be deemed healthy enough to back up Osweiler even though by definition the No. 2 QB is potentially one snap away from playing.

"Definitely. I think a lot of the guys that play at this level, the high school or college level, you have to be able to compensate for not being 100 percent. Whether that's an upper body or lower body injury," Musgrave said. "We as coaches have to put those guys in position to be successful, can't ask them to do something that they couldn't do physically. That's where we can use quarter-turn adjustments in our play calling to give them a fighting chance."

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