Lynch Returns To Full Practice, Looks Forward To Titans

John Lynch isn't ready to call it quits just yet.

The Denver Broncos All-Pro safety said he should be ready to play against Tennessee on Monday night after going through a full-contact practice Thursday for the first time in weeks.

Lynch suffered a pinched nerve in his neck the last time the Broncos played on Monday night against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 30. He hasn't played since.

"It went good," Lynch said. "It was the plan this week to add some contact, we had some spirited contact out there and I think all things are looking good."

There was plenty of caution when he was initially diagnosed with the stinger. He had surgery on his neck after the 2003 season.

Lynch, 36, knows he's not getting any younger.

"You have time to think about a lot of things, so sure, you reflect a lot," Lynch said. "But most of all, once the reports were good, I was just doing everything I could to get back and looking forward to that."

The Broncos secondary had mixed results with Lynch out of the lineup. The defense surrendered 246 yards passing and two touchdowns against Detroit in a 44-7 loss the week after Lynch went down. They bounced back against Kansas City, allowing just 217 yards passing and no touchdowns to go along with three interceptions in the 27-11 win.

"The guys did a great job last week when I was out and I'm looking forward to being out there with them this week," Lynch said.

He'll be tested immediately. The Titans run the ball more than any other team in the league. Lynch's specialty? Big hits in run support.

"I guess there's a couple of ways to look at it," Lynch said. "You get tested right away, and that's a good thing. So you better be ready to play and better be ready to bring it against these guys. Big backs that are loads and I kind of like that style."

RETURN TO FORM: Jason Elam may be the Broncos' oldest player, but he doesn't seem to be slowing down.

The Denver kicker was back to kicking from nearly 60 yards Thursday after he had lost some range the past few weeks because of a pulled right calf.

"It was like someone had shot me," Elam said.

His maximum range was 50 yards Sunday against the Chiefs. So when coach Mike Shanahan called on his longtime sure thing, Elam was curious about the outcome.

"I told coach before the game, I said 'You're going to have to get to the 32, that's about all I've got today,"' Elam said. "That's right where we got to. Had it been 32 and a foot, we wouldn't have had it."

It's been nine years since Elam tied the NFL record for the longest made field goal (63 yards), but even at 37, he has plenty left in his leg.

"I'm back up to 55ish," Elam said.

UNDER REVIEW: Shanahan raised a few eyebrows across the league when he iced Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski mere seconds before Janikowski kicked what would have been a game-winning field goal.

Since that happened in Week 2, several other similar instances have occurred across the league and at the college level.

Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, Shanahan's longtime friend and this week's opponent, said the NFL competition committee will be taking a look at that tactic in the coming months.

"I'm sure it will come up," Fisher said. "At first glance, I don't think there's much that will be done, at least that would be my opinion now, without hearing the other opinions of the committee members. As soon as a head coach ices a kicker and the kick is missed and then re-kicked and made, I don't think you'll see it happen ever again."

EXTRA POINTS: The Broncos are averaging 5.7 yards per play, good for sixth in the NFL. ... P Todd Sauerbrun is averaging a career-best 48.5 yards per punt. ... LB D.J. Williams leads the Broncos with 98 tackles. ... WR Javon Walker and FB Paul Smith did not practice on Thursday.


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