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Top stories 2014: FHSU football continues steady climb -12/17/2014, 10:20 AM

Lehman's triple-double leads FHSU to eighth straight win -12/17/2014, 10:20 AM

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Kansas State DT Clinkscales faces additional charge -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

No WR touchdowns? No problem -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Dec. 14 -12/15/2014, 10:42 AM

Heisman winner Mariota can't wait to get back on field -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

Kansas State picks up win -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

FHSU wrestling fifth at Newman -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

Pair of double-doubles lead Tiger women -12/15/2014, 11:01 AM

Chiefs go long, handle Raiders -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan on NBA scoring list -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

Patriots, Broncos clinch -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

Prep basketball scores, Dec. 13 -12/14/2014, 10:04 AM

WSU rallies to beat Detroit -12/14/2014, 6:59 PM

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Mutual respect before Alamo Bowl -12/12/2014, 10:11 AM

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Indian girls grab second win -12/12/2014, 10:11 AM

Dryden goes off in Hays High rout -12/12/2014, 10:11 AM

Shockers leave early for practice at Detroit -12/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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Broncos guard Kuper returns

Published on -8/14/2013, 9:40 AM

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By ARNIE STAPLETON

Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Chris Kuper put on pads for the first time in 214 days, snapped a few footballs to Peyton Manning and lined up some at guard Tuesday.

"I feel like a football player again," he said.

But he's a long way from being able to win a spot on the Denver Broncos' 53-man roster.

Before he can compete for a backup job, the former captain and anchor of Denver's offensive line has to get healthy.

Kuper's latest comeback try is from a second surgery on his jigsaw-like left ankle, which was grotesquely dislocated in the 2011 regular-season finale.

He admittedly rushed back last year and ended up hobbling through the playoff loss to Baltimore with a shattered plate in his repaired ankle that caused him to skip the Pro Bowl, where he was named an alternate despite having played in just seven regular-season games.

This second comeback has proven even tougher.

"The setback with the ankle surgery and the infection put me behind on the eight-ball. I wasn't able to rehab the way I wanted to and wasn't able to get my strength back and conditioning back," Kuper said. "That's how football works, that's how the NFL is. Every year you have to compete for a spot."

After making enough progress to get back on the field, Kuper agreed to a restructured contract Tuesday that reduced his 2013 salary from a non-guaranteed $4.5 million with a $1.05 million injury protection settlement to a guaranteed $1.05 million base, plus a chance to make another $1.7 million in incentives.

"I'm glad to be here and have a chance to hang around and compete for a job," Kuper said.

If Kuper makes the team, he'll almost certainly serve as a backup to guards Zane Beadles and Louis Vasquez, at least initially, although coach John Fox said he'll get a look at center, too.

Kuper has been the Broncos' emergency center in the past, but the last time he snapped the ball in a game was his junior year at North Dakota in 2004.

"It's all going to be a process, coming back and getting healthy and transitioning, trying to be the best at whatever position I can play," Kuiper said. "I'm just trying to earn a spot on the roster right now. The main thing is I have to get healthy enough to try to compete for that spot."

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