The Chargers’ win over the Broncos on Thursday night in Denver has opened the door for the Patriots in the AFC.

The Broncos drop to 11-3 with the defeat, and with the Patriots sitting a half-game back at 10-3 — and the tiebreaker in hand because of the victory over Denver last month — New England now controls its own destiny. If the Patriots are able to win all three of their remaining games, then they will secure the top seed in the AFC playoff picture.

FOXBORO -- No skill position player on the Patriots roster this season has done a better job of taking advantage of the opportunity presented to him than Julian Edelman.

Tony Corrente will work as the lead official for Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Dolphins in South Florida, according to our friends at Football Zebras.

FOXBORO — Left tackle Nate Solder returned to Patriots practice but was limited, while Aaron Dobson was the only player missing from Thursday’s session, as New England continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.

Solder is one of 11 players who were limited on Thursday, a group that includes quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder), Aqib Talib (hip) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle).

Here is Thursday’s complete report:

Tackle Nate Solder was back on the field for practice Thursday morning, while wide receiver Aaron Dobson was the only one absent as the Patriots continue preparation for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.

Dolphins center Mike Pouncey missed practice Wednesday, reportedly because he was in Boston to appear before a grand jury in the Aaron Hernandez case.

Pouncey, who played with Hernandez at the University of Florida and remained close friends with the former Patriots tight end, was issued a subpoena at Gillette Stadium when the Dolphins played the Patriots on Oct. 27.

FOXBORO -- There is almost always a disarming sense of practicality to the way the Patriots have done business over the years, and that was evident again Wednesday as they began preparing in earnest for the remainder of the 2013 season -- a slate of games that will not involve Rob Gronkowski.

FOXBORO — Nate Solder did not practice Wednesday due to a concussion suffered in Sunday’s win over the Browns while Tom Brady was limited with a right shoulder issue. It was the first time since Week 8 that Brady was officially limited due to his right shoulder. In all, 11 Patriots were listed as limited.

Marcus Cannon (ankle) returned to practice for the first time in three weeks and was limited.

Here is Wednesday’s complete report:

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick loves what Aqib Talib brings to his secondary.

The man-to-man coverage skills. The leadership. The fierce competitiveness. And the personality.

FOXBORO — Starting left tackle Nate Solder and wide receiver Aaron Dobson were the only absentees Wednesday as the Patriots began on-field preparations for the Miami Dolphins Sunday in South Florida.

With temperatures below freezing outside, the team worked out in sweats and shells indoors at the Dana Farber Field House to prepare for much warmer conditions Sunday. Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s are expected for kickoff at Sun Life Stadium.