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 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil spent the bye week gorging on oxtail and plantains, gaining weight as his mother stuffed him full of food.
Not once did he think about football or the Broncos' recent slide.
That's the point of a week off - rest, recuperate and forget all about losing three of four.
``I wanted to clear my mind of things,'' said Dumervil, who traveled back to Miami for the break. ``I didn't know who won or scores.''
Dumervil was relieved to know that as he gobbled down fish and bowls of rice and beans, the Broncos gained ground on the rest of the AFC West as San Diego, Kansas City and Oakland all lost last Sunday.
Yet Dumervil wasn't looking at the situation quite like that.
``We've got to play better and be consistent - do our job,'' Dumervil said. ``No more excuses, just get the job done.''
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However, the team had Brandon Stokley (concussion) return to practice Monday while Selvin Young (groin) and Tony Scheffler (groin) participated on a limited basis. The Broncos may be close to getting three big pieces of their offense back on the field.
Stokley was in a jovial mood Monday, the fuzziness in his head beginning to clear. He's optimistic he'll play for the first time since being sidelined with a concussion Oct. 12 against Jacksonville.
``Glad to be back out there,'' Stokley said. ``I think (I'm ready). But I haven't got hit yet.''
Stokley thinks the psyche of the team benefited from having the bye week immediately after Denver was dismantled by New England 41-7.
The players needed to flee and forget.
Now, they're back and blissful.
``Everybody's upbeat and looking forward to finishing this season off the right way,'' Stokley said. ``We have to go out there and play good football. That's the bottom line for us.''
The Broncos tinkered with their roster on Monday, bringing in receiver Chad Jackson and offensive tackle Matt Murphy, while also promoting cornerback Josh Bell from the practice squad.
Jackson spent two seasons with New England before being released in late August.
``It's been miserable sitting around watching football games, wishing you could be out there,'' Jackson said. ``I don't wish this on anybody.''
bullets on Monday, his banged-up index finger appearing to give him little discomfort. Cutler smacked his finger on a helmet against the Patriots, but X-rays after the game were negative.
The Broncos are still searching for a backup quarterback after Patrick Ramsey suffered a season-ending right elbow injury in the Patriots loss.
Darrell Hackney is expected to be Cutler's understudy, but he said he hasn't heard anything about being promoted off the practice squad yet.
``I know my role has grown - it doesn't matter if it's official or not,'' Hackney said. ``I've just got to continue to grind, prepare like you're going to play.''
Running back Michael Pittman spent the time off resting his aching ribs on his couch. He's still sore from the beating he took against New England, but he's optimistic he can go Sunday against Miami.
``I'm feeling pretty good,'' Pittman said. ``Not 100 percent of course, but fine enough to play a football game.''
If not, rookie running back Ryan Torain may be ready to pitch in. Torain recently returned to practice after breaking a bone in his elbow in August.
``It was fun to be back out there and banging around with the team,'' he said after practice Monday.
The 225-pound bruiser out of Arizona State was having a great camp before his injury, even drawing comparisons to Terrell Davis from coach Mike Shanahan.
Torain could give the Broncos' ground game an added boost, but he hasn't been told how much playing time he'll receive. He spent the bye week brushing up on the playbook and getting in some more conditioning.
``It was well needed for the whole team, just to get everybody's head right coming off a (loss) like that,'' Torain said.
Pittman couldn't agree more.
``Physically, we were beat up as a team,'' Pittman said. ``Mentally, we were frustrated ... We're not down. We're still leading the division.''
Notes: The Broncos added center Greg Eslinger and cornerback Rashod Moulton to the practice squad. ... Denver is 3-10-1 in the regular season against Miami, including 3-3-1 at home.

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