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Harris Looking Ahead During Rehab

Posted Jun 4, 2014

Chris Harris Jr. is excited about the future of the defense as he recovers from his ACL tear.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Even though cornerback Chris Harris Jr. is still unable to participate in defensive back drills due to his rehabilitation protocol, his expectations for himself and the defense are higher than ever. In fact, he is already thinking about the playoffs.

“That’s the goal is to strive for Week 1,” Harris said. “If I’m not ready for Week 1, there’s no negatives. This team, they need me December, January and February, when the big games come. If I’m not ready by Week 1, which I know I should be ready, then it’s no big hurt."

Harris tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the Broncos’ playoff win over the Chargers last season. He had surgery in February and is already running full speed, sprinting, backpedaling and turning. Though he feels like he can probably do more physically, Harris said he is on schedule and following the athletic trainers’ plan.

He is following linebacker Von Miller’s lead as he navigates the recovery process. Miller tore his ACL in Week 16 and had surgery approximately one month before Harris. As the rest of the team participates in team drills during OTA practice, the two work with trainers off to the side.

“I’m able to ask him a lot of questions because he’s a month ahead of me,” Harris said. “Like ‘how do you feel right now compared to,’ at this point, because all of the stuff that he’s already been through and is a pain, I’m kind of going through it. So it’s kind of a good thing that he’s going through it first and then I get to see which direction he took in it.”

Harris said it is difficult sometimes when he isn’t on the field sweating with his teammates. But motivation is not a problem as he aims to get back as soon as possible.

“Man I’ve got so much motivation man,” Harris said. “I was watching LeBron [James] and he was talking about I’ve got so much motivation he’s going to explode. I feel the same way.”

Harris is watching the defense, with newcomers Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware, come together from the sideline. He calls the defense “hungry” and says “It’s going to be pretty scary” once he and Miller are playing again.

He said it’s very realistic that they could have one of the top five defenses in the NFL. Individually, Harris is doing whatever it takes to get ready for the 2014 season.

“I feel sorry for the receivers when I come back, because I’m ready, I’m definitely motivated and they’re going to get some work every day,” he said.