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Broncos, Briefly: Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019

Sanders was the gray-beard in the Broncos' receiver room since Demaryius Thomas was shipped to Houston last October. Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, etc., all leaned on Sanders for advice and are ready to apply those lessons on the field, starting Sunday at Indianapolis.

"That is Joe," said Broncos coach Vic Fangio. "Like I think I've told you guys before, when things are going good, [people say] he's Joe Cool. When things are going bad, it's a lack of intensity. It's a lack of enthusiasm. I think that's just going to continue to be the dialogue as it relates to Joe Flacco and his career."

James, who was medically cleared before the Kansas City game last week, said Wednesday before practice that his knee "feels all right" as he aims to return Sunday at Indianapolis. The 27-year-old was injured during the first half of the Week 1 loss in Oakland.

Tight ends, even first-rounders such as Fant, typically struggle as rookies to adjust to press coverage and digest playbooks, game plans and line calls in the NFL that are much knottier than the ones they had in college.

"I just think everybody's got the license to become a leader on the team," Fangio said. "You don't need to be appointed. I think leadership is something that somebody takes; it's not granted to them, whether it be by a coaching staff or a vote. You take it. You don't get proclaimed that."

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