Lonie Paxton (K.Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE)
Denver long snapper Lonie Paxton may not play on Saturday in the Broncos' rematch against Paxton's former team, the Patriots. Paxton who missed practice during the week dealing with personal issues, spent nine seasons with the Patriots before signing with Denver.
Broncos long snapper misses practice again
ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (AP)
The Denver Broncos, whose stellar kicking game played a huge role in
their return to the playoffs after a six-year absence, had to practice
most of this week without long snapper Lonie Paxton.
He was excused to attend to a family matter, coach John Fox said
Thursday without revealing specifics.
''Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,'' Fox said.
''He'll be day-to-day just like all of our injuries.''
Asked if there's any concern Paxton might not play Saturday night at
New England, Fox said: ''We'll answer that day to day.''
After practicing Tuesday, Paxton missed workouts Wednesday and
Thursday. If he's unable to play against the Patriots, Russ Hochstein
might be the fill-in.
''Like any position on the team, we're well-prepared,'' Fox said.
Right guard Chris Kuper used to be the backup long snapper but he broke
his left leg two weeks ago and was placed on injured reserve.
Hochstein, an 11th-year pro who spent six seasons in New England,
replaced Kuper on the offensive line.
If Paxton rejoins the team in time for the game, kicker Matt Prater and
holder/punter Britton Colquitt said they weren't worried their timing
would be disrupted.
''We work so much in the last year, offseason, preseason, that it
doesn't affect anything,'' Colquitt said. ''He's such a professional,
it's not going to affect him. We just have to make sure we're doing our
thing. Whenever he's there, it's like we never parted.''
Paxton is a 12th-year pro who spent his first nine seasons with the
Patriots before joining the Broncos in 2009. He had just one errant
snap all season, which resulted in a botched extra point last month.
Prater, who kicked a series of game-winning field goals this season,
sounded as though he expected Paxton to play.
''Lonie is a pro. He's a pro at everything he does,'' Prater said.
''I'm not worried about Lonie at all.''
There's a possibility Paxton could get in some work Friday morning when
the Broncos (9-8) hold their walkthrough before flying out for their
AFC divisional playoff game against the Patriots (13-3).
Prater said Paxton was doing the right thing by taking care of his
''Lonie is a genuinely nice guy on and off the field. I told him if I
had family issues, I'd be doing the same thing,'' Prater said. ''You
have your priorities: family, faith and football. I think in that
''It's just tough,'' Colquitt said. ''Football doesn't matter if there
are personal family issues. That's more important. There's more life
outside of football than there is in it. It's more important that
everything is good on the home front than anywhere else.''