Broncos safety Dawkins, WR Decker held out of practice

Veteran safety Brian Dawkins has missed three games because of a neck injury, but there seems to be some optimism about his progress.

Even though Dawkins was held out of practice Wednesday, coach John Fox said there has been improvement.

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"He's way further along this week than he was last week, and we'll play it by ear," Fox said, according to the team's website. "When he gets cleared medically, we'll have him out there."

Wide receiver Eric Decker (knee) and long-snapper Lonie Paxton (personal) also missed practice. Fox had described Decker as "day to day" with a sprained knee that he suffered during last weekend's wild-card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but one team source told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington there was "no chance" the receiver would play.

Safety David Bruton (Achilles), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (ankle) and tight end Daniel Fells (ankle) were listed as limited.

The only player who didn't practice for the Patriots was defensive lineman Kyle Love (not injury related). The Patriots listed 15 players as taking limited participation.

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