Source: Ailing Marshall expected to play

Updated: January 1, 2010, 1:03 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is nursing a hamstring injury, is expected to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Marshall sat out practice for the second straight day Thursday with a strained right hamstring that he suffered running a route one day earlier. Coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday he wasn't sure how serious the injury was or if Marshall would be able to return to practice on Friday.

Marshall just earned his second straight Pro Bowl honor and has caught at least 100 passes for three straight seasons. Having him available to play is critical for the Broncos (8-7), who need to beat the last-place Chiefs in their regular-season finale and get some assistance if they're going to qualify for the playoffs.

Marshall was seen grabbing the back of his right leg during the portion of practice open to the media. He later spent some with the team's trainer. In Wednesday's team injury report, Marshall was listed as participating in the practice on a limited basis.

The Broncos are depleted at receiver. Wide receiver Eddie Royal (head, neck) and tight end Daniel Graham (knee) are struggling with injuries but both returned to practice Thursday. Rookie Kenny McKinley was moved to injured reserve earlier this week.

Along with Marshall, Brandon Stokley, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd are Denver's healthy receivers.

There are at least 10 different scenarios that can allow the Broncos to get into the postseason. The simplest is if two of these three lose: Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the New York Jets.

The Ravens travel to Oakland, while Pittsburgh plays in Miami and the Jets host AFC North champion Cincinnati.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.