Orton, Kyle_140The quarterback situation for the Denver Broncos is apparently much worse than the team has been letting on since its humiliating 27-17 loss to the Washington Redskins last weekend.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Kyle Orton didn’t practice yesterday because of torn ligaments in his ankle, but that he’ll try to push through and play against the San Diego Chargers this weekend at Invesco Field at Mile High.

The Associated Press points out that Orton (left) has played through leg injuries before, most notably last year, when he led the Chicago Bears to a 6-2 record before getting hurt. After injuring his right ankle in a November 2, 2008, game against the Detroit Lions, he racked up interceptions and saw his passer ratings drop. The Bears eventually shipped Orton to Denver with a handful of draft picks in exchange for Jay Cutler.

Backup Broncos quarterback Chris Simms has been taking most of the snaps in practice this week, but after last week’s dismal performance in the second half against the Redskins, many fans would rather see a banged-up Orton play. Simms completed just three of 13 passes and was often wildly off the mark, but he tells AP that more practice time with the starting unit will help. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report questions whether the team’s culture has actually changed, or if it’s all a mirage. Last year, the Broncos needed to win one of its last three games to make the playoffs and couldn’t find a way to do it, even though they played the woeful Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills—both at home. This year, the Broncos took a three-and-a-half game lead heading into November after beating the Chargers in San Diego, but they haven’t won a game since.