Oct 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) defends on Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Champ Bailey replaces Chris Harris on Broncos depth chart

If the Denver Broncos ever needed a ringer for their defense, now is the time with starting cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. going down before the AFC Championship game with a torn ACL. And if he is healthy, what a ringer Champ Bailey would be.

Bailey, who spent the last few weeks playing spot duty in the slot, has replaced Harris on the Broncos’ depth chart heading into Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Bailey will start, or is ready for full-time duties, but it would be a significant upgrade over the other players Denver has to counter Tom Brady and the New England offense.

When he was asked about replacing Harris at a recent press conference, coach John played coy with his interviewers – as always.

“We’re going to know long before you guys will know,” said Fox. “It is really how they perform in practice and what we see on the practice field in preparation for New England. If I knew right now, I wouldn’t say anyways.”

Fox also offered no insights on whether Bailey would be on a “pitch count” against the Patriots.

“It’s not really quite that scientific,” said Fox. “We’re not that smart.”

If Bailey can go full speed at cornerback for the whole game it would be a big boost to the Denver defense.

Tags: Champ Bailey Chris Harris Denver Broncos