- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2009

From combined dispatches

The Denver Broncos’ struggling offense will start Russ Hochstein at left guard Sunday at Washington in place of longtime veteran Ben Hamilton.

The move was made as the Broncos try to ignite a stagnant unit that has scored just one touchdown in back-to-back losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

“We’ll always evaluate everybody,” coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday. “If there’s something we feel may give us a better opportunity to have success - wherever it may be - then we would not be opposed to doing anything. We’re going to see how that goes, evaluate it ongoing.”

Hochstein has shown his versatility since being acquired in an August trade from New England. He’s filled in at right guard when Chris Kuper hurt his ankle and on the left side when Hamilton was out with a hamstring injury against Dallas. Hochstein also began the Pittsburgh game at tight end and has lined up in the backfield in short-yardage situations.

“Whenever I’m called upon, I try to work as hard as I can,” he said. “I’m eager to help any way I can.”

Hochstein’s flexibility was one of the reasons he was brought in, along with his familiarity with McDaniels’ style of offense dating back to their days together with the Patriots.

“We feel like he’ll be competitive in there, and we’ll see how it goes,” McDaniels said.

BILLS: Coach Dick Jauron remains hopeful Terrell Owens will play against Tennessee this weekend after a strained hip forced the receiver to miss his second straight practice.

Jauron said Owens is “still struggling” with the injury, which flared up during the team’s day off Tuesday. Jauron added that he believed the receiver was feeling better but still not good enough to be on the field.

CARDINALS: The NFL has given Arizona a 24-hour extension to the television blackout deadline for Sunday’s game in Glendale against the Seattle Seahawks.

To air live on local television, league rules require games to be sold out 72 hours before kickoff. This is the fourth time this season the NFL has granted Arizona an extension.

COWBOYS: Center Andre Gurode and safety Ken Hamlin returned to practice on a limited basis.

Coach Wade Phillips said that Gurode, who has a sprained ankle, and Hamlin, who has a groin strain, took most of the snaps in practice. Both are expected to practice Friday and could play Sunday at Green Bay.

Gurode and Hamlin got hurt during Sunday night’s 20-16 victory at Philadelphia.

Kick returner Allen Rossum remained out with a hamstring injury.

TITANS: Receiver Justin Gage has several broken transverse process bones in his lower back and is unlikely to play Sunday against Buffalo.

The receiver was injured when he fell to the ground after making a leaping catch to set up the go-ahead touchdown in last week’s 34-27 win at San Francisco. He finished the game with a season-high 97 yards receiving. But Gage started hurting once the adrenaline wore off, and the Titans ran a variety of X-rays and CAT scans.

Coach Jeff Fisher said the tests revealed the multiple fractures. The injury does not involve any structure crucial to the spine, and Gage said Wednesday he has had no problem moving his hands and feet.


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