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 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Denver Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker could miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee, although coach Mike Shanahan said Friday he's hopeful it will be less.
``I heard the doctor estimate it at six weeks. We'll get a better feel on it next week or so,'' Shanahan said.
Walker, who missed the Broncos' last two games because of excessive swelling and pain, tore his ACL during the 2005 season-opener with the Green Bay Packers. He had two surgeries to repair the knee that season and needed a follow-up operation around the time he joined the Broncos in a draft-day trade in 2006.
The Broncos could certainly use his big-play ability. They are 2-1 when he plays and 0-2 without him. Walker had 17 catches for 220 yards in the team's first two games before being held to just two catches and 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 3.
The Broncos also might be without shutdown cornerback Champ Bailey when they host Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Bailey returned to limited practice Friday after missing the rest of the week because of a strained right quadriceps.
``If I feel like if I can go 100 percent, I'm definitely going to go out there,'' Bailey said. ``I feel like I've got two-and-a-half days to get myself ready. That's enough time. I'll go out there and see how it feels.''
Bailey has only missed two games in his NFL career.
``He'll know if he can play or can't play,'' Shanahan said. ``Champ is pretty direct. He's a very tough player. Obviously he'd like to help our football team win, but he knows if he's injured or not.''
The struggling Broncos can't afford any more injuries.
Tight end Nate Jackson is lost for the year with a groin injury. The team also placed tight end Stephen Alexander on injured reserve Thursday because of a calf injury.
Center Tom Nalen is out for the season with a torn biceps. Chris Myers has shifted from guard to center, and Chris Kuper has taken over Myers' spot on the offensive line.
Tight end Tony Scheffler's return to form last week should provide a boost to quarterback Jay Cutler and a struggling red zone offense. Scheffler became one of Cutler's favorite targets near the goal line last season.
``I think we kind of tried to push him out there a little bit too early,'' Cutler said. ``He felt like he should be making plays for us like he did at the end of last year. Hopefully we can use him a little bit this week, use some two tight end sets and have him stretch the field.''

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