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Champ Bailey won't be on a 'pitch count' for Broncos

Champ Bailey struggled through a nightmare 2013, battling a foot injury that cost him the majority of the season.

When the Denver Broncos cornerback finally returned after two earlier failed recovery attempts, he was used in a limited role.

With starting cornerback Chris Harris out after tearing his ACL, Bailey said Friday he expects to have a larger role when the Broncos take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

"(The pitch count) doesn't exist this week," Bailey told USA Today's Lindsay Jones. "Whatever it takes."

Bailey played 29 of 52 snaps last week, according to Pro Football Focus. With Harris out, Bailey is the most logical replacement in the starting lineup at his normal left cornerback spot. One other alternative is Quentin Jammer, who was liberally picked on last week.

"I'm ready for whatever they want me to do," Bailey said this week. "That is the way I prepare. I've never not prepared like that. It wouldn't be a surprise if that was the case."

Facing Tom Brady isn't easy for cornerbacks in their prime. At 35-years-old and coming off injury, Bailey is likely to be targeted heavily.

Still, it's been eight seasons since the all-time great reached the AFC Championship game, and he's never been to a Super Bowl.

"I never thought it would take this long," Bailey said Friday of getting back to the conference championship.

We previewed Championship Sunday and sat down with Rams star Robert Quinn in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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