The ninth OTA session ended just after midday Wednesday, and Sam Brandon’s teammates had all left for the locker room, to lift weights or to scarf down some lunch at the team’s cafeteria. Brandon, however, was going nowhere except back and forth, backpedaling, sprinting forward and moving laterally.
Just over six months after surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, along with a microfracture procedure to help strengthen the knee.
Although he takes the field with his teammates at team camp, Brandon is still in the rehabilitation process. He can take part in individual and installation work but not in the team segments of the OTAs. His time to work, therefore, comes later as he builds up strength in his knee.
“This is my daily routine until I can transition back into doing on-the-field football stuff like everybody else is doing right now,” Brandon said. “It’s going well.”
Brandon is working to be ready by the start of training camp, although he couldn’t set a precise date to his expected return.
“I don’t know if there’s a target date,” Brandon said, “because a couple of weeks ago I went out and had a little bit of swelling, so I eased off. I just hope the swelling continues to stay down and that I can get stronger — which is the key, getting stronger in the weight room, to keep getting strength in my leg, my quad and my calf so it will reduce pressure on my knee.”
The swelling has gone down, and Brandon moved about the field smoothly on Wednesday. However, as he moves, the condition of his knee still weighs upon his mind.
“If you feel anything, your train of thought goes, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Brandon acknowledges. “But most of the time I can just go out there and it feels pretty smooth. It’s just once in while where you feel that tweak and you go, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But it feels really good.”
… Cecil Sapp’s primary position has been fullback for the last three years, but as the Broncos progress through OTAs, they’re using him as a running back. Wednesday, he lined up as a deep setback behind Kyle Johnson — the man with whom Sapp waged a spirited battle for the first-team fullback role last year. “They always told me to keep my mind open about playing tailback, and now I just have to learn both positions,” Sapp said. “I’ve been doing it ever since I transformed to fullback. Now, they really want me to play tailback. Hopefully I take this opportunity and run with it.” …
… Champ Bailey intercepted a pass for a second day in a row, nabbing a Patrick Ramsey toss that glanced off the hand of David Kircus …
… Brandon Marshall watched the practice in sweats, joining fellow receivers Glenn Martinez, Rod Smith and Brandon Stokley in the present-but-not-in-uniform category. Stokley jogged around the fields throughout the early stages of work, but also did some sprinting as he continues his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery …
… Curome Cox earned notice from assistant head coach Jim Bates after acrobatically swatting away a Cutler bullet to Stephen Alexander. “Hell of a play,” Bates said as he high-fived the defensive back.
More to come tomorrow; until then, adios.