Julius Thomas, Champ Bailey, Steve Gregory inactive tonight

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Both teams will have key players sidelined while nursing injuries in tonight’s big Broncos-Patriots game.

For the Broncos, tight end Julius Thomas, who has emerged as one of Peyton Manning’s favorite receivers, is inactive with a knee injury. Also inactive is cornerback Champ Bailey, who has been dealing with a foot injury for most of the season.

The Patriots’ secondary won’t be at full strength either, as safety Steve Gregory, who was listed as questionable with a finger injury, is inactive. The good news for the Patriots is that cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard, both of whom were listed as questionable, are both active.