By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Kick returner Trindon Holliday is doubtful for the Denver Broncos’ season finale against Kansas City because of a sprained ankle.
The injury has sidelined him all week and prevented him from working on ways to cut down on fumbling. He has five fumbles on returns to go with touchdowns on a punt return and a kickoff return.
Coach John Fox said the cure for that is “you just practice. You work on it. No different than a running back or quarterback as far as in the pocket, receivers after they catch the ball. Anytime you have that ball, you have the other 10 guys’ best interest in hand. It’ll be something that we’ll continue to work on.”
Jimmy Leonhard is expected to handle punt returns and Omar Bolden the kickoff returns if Holliday doesn’t play Sunday against the Chiefs.
Cornerback Tracy Porter (concussion) was ruled out for Sunday. He was injured last week just three snaps into his first game since Oct. 7. He had been sidelined after experiencing symptoms similar to those he had before a seizure during training camp.
“That’s so unfortunate because he’s been waiting for this opportunity to get back in there. And I just hope he’s OK. I think he will be but only time will tell,” cornerback Champ Bailey said.
Right guard Chris Kuper is 50-50 for Sunday after participating on a limited basis for the second straight day. He’s been sidelined with a sprained left ankle and migraines.
Fox said he wasn’t worried about Kuper’s availability heading into the playoffs.
“He practiced for the first time yesterday and then today. I think he’s making good progress,” Fox said. “He’s been out for a little bit. We’re just going to make sure he’s ready to play football and we’ll make that decision day to day.”
Kuper has played in just six games this season. He missed the first month with a broken forearm and five of the last seven games after spraining his left ankle, the same one in which he tore ligaments in a gruesome injury on New Year’s Day.
Fox said he was pleased with the progress of running back Willis McGahee, who went on recallable IR after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Nov. 18 when he was tackled low by San Diego cornerback Quentin Jammer.
McGahee is eligible to return to practice next week after missing the final six regular-season games but won’t be available to play again unless the Broncos (12-3) reach the AFC championship.
“All indications are it’s on schedule and he’s getting better every day,” Fox said of McGahee’s rehab. “He won’t be ready here anytime real soon but we’ll evaluate that as we get going and finish up the regular season.”
MANNING FOR MVP? Peyton Manning, the only four-time MVP in NFL history, is in the conversation for a fifth MVP award this season. Consider: His stats this year are better than the average stats he put up during his four MVP seasons: 2003, ‘04, ‘08 and ‘09.
He averaged 370 completions in 547 passes (67.8) percent for 4,332 yards, 35 TDs and 12 interceptions with a 103.2 QB rating in his MVP years with the Indianapolis Colts.
This season, he’s completed 337 of 554 passes (68.1 percent) for 4,355 yards, 34 TDs and 11 interceptions with a 103.7 QB rating.
“I think what separates Peyton in any kind of voting is he’s had an exceptional year with a new team, new city and at arguably the most difficult job in pro sports, the quarterback position,” coach John Fox said. “It’s unheard of, it’s unprecedented. Nobody’s ever done it.”