While Jay Cutler has managed to make it through every practice so far in training camp, the same could not be said for many of his teammates, as the Broncos continued to fight the injury bug on Thursday morning.
“We’re still banged up a little bit right now,” Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. “But even when we don’t have pads on, we still try to practice at gameday speed, and these guys do a great job. Hopefully their bodies can heal a little bit and we’ll get some of the guys back on the field with shoulder pads on.”
But the Broncos still emerged from the day with another notable injury, this one to offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who suffered what Shanahan said was “a little tweak in his back” during lineman drills midway through the two-hour practice session.
“I’m not exactly sure how serious it is, but it’s enough to keep him from practicing the rest of practice. Hopefully it’s not too bad,” Shanahan said.
On the positive side for the Broncos, Tony Scheffler saw substantial time in team and seven-on-seven work, remaining on the field for the entire practice.
“We know there’s no chance for any structural damage, and now he’s just got to get back in football shape and trust (the foot),” Shanahan said. “We’re going to play him a little bit each day, and he should be ready to go next week against the Cowboys.”
Looking ahead to Monday night’s game with the San Francisco 49ers, Shanahan ruled both Matt Lepsis and Ben Hamilton out. Each has missed time this week due to a groin injury and a concussion, respectively.
On Lepsis: “There’s no structural damage, and now he’s just got to fight through it.”
On Hamilton: “It’s precautionary. During the season he would probably be ready to go — at least that’s what the doctors think — but I can’t tell you for sure until a couple of days from now.”
Wide receiver David Kircus and fullback Kyle Johnson also received on-field treatment during the practice and only played sparingly throughout the final periods of the morning’s work.
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Nate Jackson and John Lynch both missed the practice to attend Bill Walsh’s funeral, which is being held Thursday at Stanford University. Lynch played under Walsh at Stanford, while Jackson cites the guidance and support of Walsh as a significant reason why he made it from Division III Menlo College to the NFL … The Broncos remained five wide recievers down, as Brandon Stokley’s left thigh injury again kept him out of practice; Marquay McDaniel, Glenn Martinez, Rod Smith and Brandon Marshall all remained sidelined … A right hamstring injury kept safety Hamza Abdullah sidelined, while fellow safety Quentin Harris missed time for a second consecutive day with a right knee injury … Linebackers Louis Green (knee) and Warrick Holdman (spinal cord concussion) remained sidelined … Jarvis Moss was in uniform and took part in some individual and installation drills, but remained out for the team session of practice … Offensive tackle Jacob Rogers sat out with a slight left knee injury he incurred Wednesday morning.
WHO’S WHERE? Jimmy Kennedy filled in for Sam Adams along the first-team defensive front … Domonique Foxworth took Lynch’s place at free safety. With Foxworth back there, Jeff Shoate saw action on the second team at cornerback; he worked on the first team during the Wednesday afternoon session that Lynch, Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly all sat out … Nate Webster saw first-team action at strong-side linebacker with Green still on the sidelines … Steve Cargile lined up as a second-team safety alongside Curome Cox … John Engelberger and Ebenezer Ekuban remained the first-team defensive end tandem … The first-team offensive line saw Adam Meadows shift back over to left tackle with Erik Pears manning the right side. Montrae Holland and Chris Myers were right guard and left guard, respectively, with Tom Nalen anchoring the unit from the center spot … Cecil Sapp lined up at fullback in front of Travis Henry late in practice during the team session. “Right now, it doesn’t really matter, because halfbacks and fullbacks really play the same position,” Shanahan said.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS: After working extensively in red-zone and goal-line scenarios the past few days, the Broncos turned the tables, placing the offense at its own 2-yard-line for a period of the morning practice.
The coaches provided the following game-simulation scenario: First-and-10 from the 2, with the goal to get a first down. In the first duel, the No. 2 defense got the better of the first-team offense, with Cameron Vaughn leaping to break up a third-and-5 Jay Cutler pass for Stephen Alexander. The second-team offense went three-and-out, with Mike Bell dropping a short pass across the middle from Patrick Ramsey. The third-team offense got a first down after Darrell Hackney hobbled out of the pocket and into the open field for a first down.
Other focal points from the day included a no-huddle period and special-teams work, focusing on the punt-protection team’s tackling of an opposing returner, focusing mainly on getting proper position and technique.
STANDOUT PLAYS AND PLAYERS: Vaughn intercepted a Cutler pass in goal-line work, and assistant head coach/defense Jim Bates again led the cheers. “Let him know he made a play, guys!” exhorted the coach … Domenik Hixon had the longest play of the day by hauling in a 74-yard pass on a “go” route from Jay Cutler, but hats off to Domonique Foxworth for sprinting from across the field and nearly chasing down the speedy wide receiver … Amon Gordon got his paws on a Patrick Ramsey pass that D.D. Lewis tipped into his grasp. Gordon grabbed the football and took off, sprinting a few yards before the play was ruled dead. “I was like, ‘Hit the ground! Like you’re on fire, stop, drop and roll, or something,” Lang said. “Don’t you try to run that ball big boy,’ but he’s making plays and that’s great, it gets his morale and his confidence up, and he’s getting better.” … Quincy Morgan made a pair of receptions in the two-minute drill scenario.
That’s a wrap on the morning session … back with a special-teams wrap tonight.
Tags: Training Camp