DENVER (AP) – Broncos kicker Jason Elam said he’s playing. Middle linebacker Al Wilson isn’t sure.

Elam said his injured left hamstring feels much better and that he will play Sunday against San Diego.

“I wish I had another week to get it completely better, but I feel good and should be OK,” Elam said on Friday.

Wilson, who injured his neck running into teammate Gerard Warren against Seattle last Sunday night, said his status will depend on how he feels when he wakes up Sunday.

“I’m 50-50,” he said.

The Broncos haven’t practiced in full pads all week. Coach Mike Shanahan, who didn’t address the media Friday, said on Thursday that he was optimistic Wilson would play.

“I asked him how he was feeling and he said, ‘Bad,”‘ Shanahan said. “But he said, ‘I feel bad every week.’ He said, ‘I think that’s a good sign.’ We’re sure hoping he’s playing.”

The Broncos had 17 players listed on their injury report Friday with only fullback Cecil Sapp (broken left leg) definitely ruled out. Tackle Adam Meadows (hamstring), Elam and Wilson were listed as questionable and everyone else was probable. Meadows missed at least a portion of practice all week.

Elam hurt his plant leg trying to gain extra yardage on a fake field goal just before halftime against Seattle.

“I tried to hit some extra points (Friday) and step it up a little bit, and they would have been good from 40 and I wasn’t swinging too hard,” Elam said. “I’m pretty confident everything’s going to be fine.”

Elam didn’t know what his range would be, but if a longer field goal is necessary, punter Paul Ernster may attempt it.

Ernster, who was selected by Denver in the seventh round of the 2005 draft, was a first-team All-Big Sky punter and kicker at Northern Arizona. He made 9 of 18 field goal attempts and all 27 extra points.

“Paul’s got a real strong leg and if we had to try a real, real long one, right now I think he would do it,” Elam said.

AP-ES-12-08-06 1828EST


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