Broncos won't know McCaffrey's status until Monday

Updated: October 29, 2003, 7:01 PM ET

DENVER -- Denver Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey will not practice this week and will likely see limited playing time Monday night against New England even if his sore knee is well enough to play.

McCaffrey missed the past two games with a chronic condition in his right knee and was still having trouble cutting early this week.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he won't know if McCaffrey can play until just before Monday's game. If does see action, Shanahan said, it will only be for about 15-20 plays.

"He still had the same type of soreness that he's had the last couple of weeks, so my recommendation to Ed is, just stay off it," Shanahan said Wednesday. "He can do some things in the weight room that doesn't keep the pressure on like it does working out on the field."

McCaffrey missed most of the 2001 season after breaking his leg in the first game, but bounced back to catch 69 passes for 903 yards last year. Hernia surgery in the offseason kept him out of Denver's minicamps, but he didn't have any problems early in the season.

McCaffrey had eight catches for 73 yards in six games before sitting out against Minnesota and Baltimore.

Shanahan said he would have no problem playing McCaffrey without seeing him in practice.

"He's been a player that has a few games under his belt. He knows what to do," Shanahan said.

It's also a waiting game for linebacker John Mobley, who was temporarily paralyzed in Sunday's game against Baltimore.

Shanahan said team doctors will wait until next Wednesday to perform an MRI so the swelling in his spinal cord can go down.

"The doctors feel like they can get a good read on it then, not before then," Shanahan said. "So to make assessments before then I think would be a mistake. We'll get a good idea next Wednesday exactly where he's at."

Mobley was injured Sunday when he collided with Baltimore's Jamal Lewis and teammate Kelly Herndon. He lay motionless on the field for about 10 minutes before moving his hands as he was carted off the field.

Mobley spent Sunday night in a Baltimore hospital and initial tests came back negative. ^------=

^WATCHING THE CHIEFS:@ The Broncos are three games behind undefeated Kansas City in the AFC West, but they're not concerned about what the Chiefs are doing.

"If we win this ballgame, we can't make up three games, so we're not even concerned about that," Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe said. "We're just going to play the best we can and let whatever happens happen. We just need to take care of ourselves and let Kansas City take care of themselves, and we'll see after 16 games." ^------=

^KANELL'S FINGER:@ QB Danny Kanell injured the index finger on his throwing hand in the first quarter against Baltimore Sunday, but he said it didn't affect his play.

Kanell was 16-for-31 for 114 yards and two interceptions, including one by Ray Lewis that set up the deciding score.

"It really didn't start bothering me until after the game when it started to swell up," Kanell said. "You have so much adrenaline flowing during the game that you don't have time to think about it. The way I look at it, I had the flu, I had my finger banged up a little bit, but those things didn't throw the ball to Ray Lewis. That was my bad decision and that's one thing I'm working on."

But Sharpe said the loss wasn't all Kanell's fault.

"I think the thing is that the wind, unless you were down on the field you really didn't get a sense of how bad the wind was blowing," he said. "I think sometimes he tried to overcompensate and sometimes he didn't factor that in. A lot of times we just dropped the football." ^------=

^EXTRA POINTS:@ WR/KR Chris Cole returned to practice Wednesday without any problems with his sprained left ankle. Cole was injured two weeks ago against Minnesota and didn't play against the Ravens. "Right now it feels good. I'm planting off it real well," he said. ... QB Jake Plummer had eight touchdown passes and three interceptions before missing the past two games with a broken foot. His replacements, Steve Beuerlein and Danny Kanell, have three touchdowns and seven interceptions. ... Denver has the league's second-ranked defense, allowing 271.4 yards per game. Dallas leads the league at 244.7 yards.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index