On Friday, Head Coach John Fox announced that defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson has been cleared to play.
Vickerson participated in Thursday’s practice, but was not full-contact. On Friday, he participated fully, but Fox said a decision hasn’t been made on whether the lineman will suit up on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
“We’ll evaluate it and see the flow of the game,” Fox said. “We’ve still got some time before that. We’ll talk, I’m sure, as a staff — the medical people as well as the position coaches and coordinators — and make a decision from there.”
Vickerson’s return came a day after safety Jim Leonhard joined his Broncos teammates for his first practice since suffering a knee injury last December.
Fox said Leonhard looked “good” in his first padded practice on Friday, his third practice of the week.
“I thought he moved around well and we’ll take that slow just like we are with all of our injured players,” Fox said. “When they’re deemed ready to play, we’ll play them.”
On the other hand, another veteran signing, linebacker Keith Brooking, hasn’t practiced since he left the field with a hamstring injury during training camp on Aug. 13.
Asked if it’s tough to evaluate a player without seeing him on the practice field, Fox noted that Brooking — a five-time Pro Bowler — is essentially a known commodity.
“I think it’s obviously a little easier to do that when a guy has got a lot of snaps in the league, a lot of evidence on tape of his playing ability,” Fox said. “Each individual’s situation is different.”