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Broncos WR Decker out for Pats tilt; Safety Dawkins doubtful

It's no surprise that the Denver Broncos will be without wideout Eric Decker for Saturday's division round match against the New England Patriots, but there's a chance they could have veteran safety Brian Dawkins back in the mix as they face Tom Brady and the vaunted Patriots aerial attack.

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Dawkins (neck) is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game, though he did not practice Friday.

Dawkins has missed the past three games with a nagging neck injury, but coach John Fox told the team's official website Wednesday that Dawkins is showing improvement.

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

Broncos linebacker Von Miller (thumb), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (ankle) and tight end Daniel Fells (ankle) are listed as probable, along with safety David Bruton (Achilles).

Long-snapper Lonie Paxton has been ruled out for non-injury related reasons as he has been dealing with a family issue all week.

The Broncos signed long-time long snapper David Binn on Friday to replace Paxton. Binn, who turns 40 next month, spent 17 seasons with the division rival San Diego Chargers from 1994-2010, appearing in 256 regular season games, a dozen playoff games and one Pro Bowl. The Chargers cut ties with Binn in August because of questions about his durability.

To make room for Binn, the Broncos waived fullback Austin Sylvester, who was signed after Spencer Larsen sustained a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. Sylvester didn't play last week as the Broncos used multiple-tight end sets instead in their win over Pittsburgh.

Right guard Chris Kuper was Paxton's backup during the regular season but he broke his left leg two weeks ago and was placed on injured reserve.

For a complete look at the divisional round's injury reports, visit's Injury page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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