Broncos' Prater feels 'a lot better' after illness

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm •  Published: January 28, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Matt Prater was at home in bed late last week, trying to recover from a nasty illness, when he flipped on his TV.

There at the bottom of the screen was a line that made him feel even more queasy:

"It said, 'Matt Prater questionable for Super Bowl,'" the Denver Broncos kicker said with a laugh during media day Tuesday. "I was like, 'Where is that coming from?' It was definitely strange, but I guess for the Super Bowl, everything's a big deal."

Prater found that out firsthand after he missed practices from last Thursday through Saturday when he was sent home by the team so he could recover in time for this week — and not get any of his teammates sick.

"I'm feeling a lot better and I should be fine Sunday," Prater said, showing no signs of sniffles from the flu bug that he couldn't kick for a few days. "I mean, I wasn't dying. I was definitely really sick and I was basically useless for four days. I felt like a truck hit me, but I would've still tried to play in the Super Bowl even if I was sick."

The big-legged kicker who set an NFL record with a 64-yarder on Dec. 8 in Denver wasn't concerned about the chances of not being at full strength for the big game against Seattle. Prater kicked Monday at practice for the first time since the AFC championship game against New England.

"I didn't feel too rusty," Prater said.

Prater is 30 of 31 on field-goal attempts this season, including 5-for-5 in the playoffs. The only miss was a 52-yarder that was barely wide left on Dec. 1 at Kansas City. The next week at Denver, he booted the record-breaker in icy conditions.

"I remember the first time he kicked a ball in front of me and it jumped off his foot, I was amazed how hard he kicked it," said second-year long snapper Aaron Brewer. "It's comforting to know he can kick it from anywhere."

Prater also led the NFL with 81 touchbacks and was 12 of 12 in kickoff touchbacks in the Broncos' two home playoff games. It will have been five weeks by the time the Super Bowl rolls around since the Broncos' special teams unit covered a kickoff.

So, Prater's leg strength could be a factor if he's not ready to boom kicks out of the end zone. The site and conditions could also play a role. In the Broncos' game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 15, five of Prater's eight kickoffs were returned, his season-low touchback rate — and that was in 70-degree, sunny conditions with minimal wind.

| |


Trending Now


  1. 1
    RedHawks OF George Springer gets called up by Houston Astros
  2. 2
    Hundreds of earthquakes strike central Idaho, rattling nerves
  3. 3
    VIDEO: 3-year-old gets stuck inside claw crane vending machine
  4. 4
    KOCO: Neighbors post 'no hooking zone' sign near 40th and S Robinson
  5. 5
    Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City concert
+ show more