ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos have even more incentive to keep winning and reach the postseason. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. could return to the lineup if Denver wins out and reaches the postseason.
Harris suffered a break in his lower left leg on Sunday but Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said he won't be put on injured reserve, meaning he could come back for a wild card game in early January.
Harris has other ideas. He was using just one crutch to walk but stood in front of his locker without support and said he's hoping to play in the season's final game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 30.
"I always heal fast. I've got the right people around me to help me get back fast and I'll work night and day to get back," he said. "My goal is three weeks, but they said four. My goal is three weeks because I want to play against the Chargers."
Harris was injured in the first half against Cincinnati and didn't return. He said he will try to help the young secondary while he rehabs.
"I'm in the meeting room like an extra coach. I'll be in there like a coach and make sure they're ready to go," Harris said. "There are things that I've seen that the Bengals ran that I wish I would've played, just to take advantage of what they were doing. My insight, I've got a different perspective and insight of what I see compared to what a coach sees. I can give them that perspective and be able to help them play."
Losing Harris was a blow to an already banged-up secondary but safety Justin Simmons was able to fill in for his teammate. He played cornerback in nickel packages and helped keep Cincinnati's receivers in check.
"It says a lot for a guy not to work nickel all week, to move there in the first quarter of the game and play 50 snaps there at a high level," Joseph said. "That speaks also to his physical traits, to match [Bengals wide receiver Tyler] Boyd who was their best guy outside of A.J. Green."
Harris wasn't surprised by Simmons and said everybody has to do more in his absence.
"It's not just one person stepping up, it's everybody. It's not easy. Now guys have got to change positions," Harris said. "Justin's got to play my spot and somebody might have to play his spot. Guys have got to do more, learn more and pay attention to detail because these guys are playing a lot more than they ever have now."
With Harris not going on injured reserve the Broncos won't sign another player. Cornerback Tramaine Brock, who has missed two games with bruised ribs, will likely return next week.
The Broncos added linebacker Alexander Johnson and running back Khalfani Muhammad to the practice squad on Monday. Tennessee signed running back Jeremy McNichols off Denver's practice squad.
Joseph said defensive tackle Derek Wolfe tore some cartilage in his ribs and is day-to-day. The same for linebacker Josey Jewell, who suffered a mild high ankle sprain against Cincinnati. Joseph also said linebacker Brandon Marshall called him Sunday night to tell him he is ready to play. Marshall has missed four games with a knee injury.
CB Chris Harris Jr. is out with a fracture in his lower left leg but he won't be placed on injured reserve. The Broncos could get their best cover guy back if they reach the playoffs.
DT Derek Wolfe is day-to-day after suffering a tear of the cartilage in his rib cage.
LB Von Miller had 1.5 sacks in the win over Cincinnati and now has 12.5 this season.
LB Josey Jewell has a high ankle sprain that is considered mild. He is considered day-to-day.
CB Tramaine Brock sat out Sunday's win over Cincinnati with bruised ribs but head coach Vance Joseph said he is hopeful Brock can play against San Francisco.
LB Brandon Marshall was close to returning this week so his prospects of playing at San Francisco on Sunday are high.