When the Denver Broncos fly to Philadelphia for their game Sunday afternoon against the Eagles, they'll be leaving two front-line players at home.
Wide receiver and kick returner Eddie Royal, along with fullback and special-teams standout Spencer Larsen, will not make the trip. Royal is sidelined by a persistent neck injry, while Larsen has a hamstring injury.
Royal has been an offensive disappointment in his second NFL season, but he still has been Denver's second-leading receiver and top returning threat. With him not available, the Broncos might turn to rookie receiver Kenny McKinley for returning kicks, but he hasn't been used much. Offensively, Denver likely will look for Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney more in Royal's place.
Larsen's absence apparently will give a chance to second-year back Peyton Hillis, who was set back early in new head coach Josh McDaniels' regime by injuries and some fumbles. Hillis emerged late in the 2008 season as Denver's top running back until a season-ending hamstring injury. Hillis has only 12 carries for 54 yards all season.