ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A high ankle sprain is never good news. But when cornerback
"He's done it before, so I'm not overly (concerned)," head coach John Fox said. "Anytime they miss time, I'm concerned. We'll just get him healthy and get him back out there."
Better now than later. It's only July 31, there will be less pressure on him to return before he is healed. The regular-season opener remains 36 days away; in the interim, the Broncos can use the next few weeks to give younger cornerbacks such as rookie
"It gives other guys opportunities," Fox said. "We've got plenty of numbers and it'll give a guy some opportunities to get reps in practice."
It also would appear to move
“You know I’m always ready," Harris said. "I’m going to make plays if I’m at the nickel or at corner, so it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Rodgers-Cromartie's injury also moves
1. Carter, Webster, Bolden and others battling for playing time at cornerback will also have to cope with an offense that continues to accelerate the tempo.
"As fast as the officials let us, and as fast as we can get the play we want to run communicated," said tight end
The first-team offense looked particularly effective in it, marching to a touchdown during a period in which it was given just 1:10 on the clock and a six-point deficit.
“You have to be in shape to defend it, I know that," said cornerback
Bailey cited the Chip Kelly-coached Eagles as team that will try to establish a breakneck pace. He and the Broncos also saw it from the Patriots last year in a Week 6 loss.
"We saw what they were doing a little bit, but what we're doing is going to be entirely different," he said. "We're going to be doing it the Bronco way."
2. Running back
But he acknowledged that he still has some work to do as a blocker, and that was evident in one-on-one and team periods. During a one-on-one, he squared up against safety
Ball also pointed to a play during a team period where he missed the defender, in a similar experience to his missed block on Bruton.
"I made the right read, I saw the right blitzer, but I kind of lunged at him and missed him," he said. "I was going in for the kill shot, and the defense is fast, and those players get paid, too, so he kind of just sidestepped me.
"But other than that, I think I had a pretty good day today and I'm working on (blocking)."
If he wants playing time in the regular season, that's how he'll earn it.
Of the Broncos' tight ends, Dreessen remains the most consistent blocker, which will be even more crucial given the absence of a true fullback on the roster. (
The biggest concern for Dreessen when training camp began was his recovery from offseason knee surgery. It's progressed enough to where he's practiced every day and has carried a full workload -- but not to where he's at 100 percent.
"I'm feeling really good. It's getting stronger," Dreessen said. "Obviously about 10 weeks out of surgery now, so I'm not quite my old self yet, but I'm getting there."
Dreessen is past the point where the knee is at the front of his mind when he practices, so he's beyond the major mental hurdle in recovery from knee surgery. But when he reviews his work, he notices that his movement isn't where he wants it to be.
"I don't think about it at all," Dreessen said. "I watch tape and I see a difference, but it's not something that I'm thinking about, by any means."
4. At some point the safety competition will stabilize. But for now, the mixing and matching continues, and with
"We're really just waiting for the safety spots to get settled in so we can really get that chemistry," Harris said. "We already know what we've got at corner; we're just going to continue to gel."
Harris isn't taking a rooting interest, but what he wants is a safety who will make himself noticed. Harris can relate to that; he's a former college safety who retained his willingness to step forward and make plays against the run as well as in coverage.
"We need some playmakers back there at safety to go far this year," he said. "That's what's really going to get us over the hump."
“There wasn’t a specific moment when (Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio) told me, it just gradually happened over time," Ihenacho said. "I wouldn’t say there was specific moment so I didn’t have an ‘Oh My God!’ reaction; it just happened."
Ihenacho is also emerging as a special-teams contributor, which makes it more essential for him to prove he can flourish in various defensive packages if the need arises. The same is true for returner
Special teams will help make the difference at a few roster spots, and the contributions made in preseason games on kickoffs and punts could be what separates second-teamers and those placed on the waiver wire.