The ligaments in Kyle Orton's left ankle are torn. He certainly isn't.
Orton adamantly wants to start Sunday against San Diego and help the Denver Broncos snap out of a monthlong funk that has wiped out their 3½-game cushion over the Chargers in the AFC West.
"I came back last year as soon as I could and I'll do the same thing this year," Orton said.
He acknowledged, however, that he rushed back into action last season after sitting out one game. He suffered through a 37-3 loss at Green Bay upon his hasty return, commencing a spiral that ended his tenure in Chicago.
"I wasn't even close for the Green Bay game," Orton admitted. "That's just how it is. I don't know if anybody is feeling 100 percent right now on our team. It's been a physical season and I'm no different."
So, his mindset is he's the starter unless and until McDaniels decides by week's end that backup Chris Simms is.
"I'll come back as fast as I can and try to lead the football team and try to be in the huddle just like everybody else," Orton said. "In this sport you've got to play when you are dinged up and the quarterback is no different."