In his 16th season, Beuerlein is starting in place of Brian Griese, who is expected to be sidelined for one-to-three weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
The 37-year-old Beuerlein has not started since the 2000 season finale against Oakland while he was with the Carolina Panthers.
“I’ve been in this position so many times in my career that I know how to handle it,” Beuerlein said. “I’ll be very focused and very determined to go out there and keep an even keel. I’m going to go in there confident, poised and ready to execute.”
Even with the loss of Griese, the Broncos should be in good hands with Beuerlein, who has passed for 22,747 yards in his career, including a career-high 4,436 in 1999 while with Carolina.
Signed as a free agent prior to last season, Beuerlein missed the entire 2001 campaign after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.
Beuerlein came off the bench last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks after Griese was injured and threw his only two passes for touchdowns in a 31-9 victory. Rookie Clinton Portis added 136 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Portis has four 100-yard games and leads all rookies with 748 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
With the victory, Denver remained tied with San Diego for first place in the AFC West, a game in front of Oakland. Denver plays at San Diego next Sunday.
Indianapolis has recovered from a four-game losing streak to win its last two contests over Philadelphia and Dallas in impressive fashion. The Colts are tied for first place with Tennessee in the AFC South.
Last Sunday, Marvin Harrison became the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions in a 20-3 victory over the Cowboys.
Harrison matched a career high with 14 catches for 138 yards and became the fastest receiver to reach 600 catches, doing so in his 102nd game. His two touchdowns gave him 70 for his career, breaking Raymond Berry’s club record of 68.
Harrison has 89 catches for 1,110 yards and eight touchdowns. He is on pace to break Herman Moore’s single-season reception mark of 123, set in 1995 with Detroit.
“No matter what the defense does, we’re still going to find ways to move it around and get him the ball,” Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. “It’s nice when you have that kind of confidence in a guy.”
Indianapolis regained the services of running back Edgerrin James against the Cowboys. He carried 24 times for 106 yards, but is questionable for this contest with a sprained ankle.
Like the Broncos, the Colts also have a top rookie of their own in defensive end Dwight Freeney, who has recorded at least one sack in three straight games and is third in the AFC with seven sacks overall.
In the final week of last season, Peyton Manning threw a pair of touchdown passes to Harrison, leading the Colts to a 29-10 victory over the Broncos. Harrison finished with nine catches for 128 yards.
The Broncos lead the series, 9-3.