ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The "No Fly Zone" finally had all its components back with Aqib Talib's return to practice Monday.
Talib had been held out as he recovered from a gunshot wound; he was on the non-football injury list until being activated Monday. He will be brought back up to full speed in a similar manner as Von Miller and Russell Okung. Monday, Talib was limited to individual and one-on-one repetitions; he sat out the seven-on-seven and team periods.
"He went, I think, 35 or 40 minutes today," Kubiak said. "We'll step [up] each day."
"From what I did today, I felt pretty good. We've got time. I'll keep on working with the best training staff in the world -- 'Greek' [head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos] and his crew -- and keep at it."
Kubiak said that based on Talib's recent progress, he hopefully will see some playing time in the third preseason game Aug. 27 against the Los Angeles Rams.
"I probably shouldn't go there yet, but he's doing a good job and I think he's going to progress really quickly," Kubiak said.
... It was an up-and-down day for the offense. Early in the session, the work was crisp, punctuated by a perfect Mark Sanchez-to-Demaryius Thomas pass in the back of the end zone during a seven-on-seven red-zone period. The pass was perfectly placed through a narrow window past tight coverage from Kayvon Webster, and was as good a pass as Sanchez has thrown throughout training camp.
But Sanchez later threw his second pick-six in as many practices, with Bradley Roby once again jumping on a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders and returning it for a touchdown.
"I thought our first hour offensively might have been as good as we've practiced," Kubiak said. "Now, the last half-hour to 45 minutes, we've got to be better."
The Broncos returned to UC Health Training Center on Monday after an off day, ready to prepare for Thursday's preseason opener vs. the Chicago Bears. (photos by Eric Bakke unless noted)
... The Broncos unveiled their first depth chart of the preseason 20 minutes before practice, with Sanchez and Trevor Siemian listed as co-No. 1 quarterbacks. They split first-team repetitions Monday. "Nothing's changed at quarterback," Kubiak said. "Mark and Trevor continue to split reps with the first group, and Paxton's behind those guys." When asked when he would name a starter for the preseason opener at Chicago, Kubiak replied, "Probably tomorrow."
... There was plenty of no-huddle work for the offense in practice Monday, but the defense generally got the better of it. Pressure from the edge rushers and inside and delayed pass rushes up the middle led to a slew of incompletions.
... Unlike the last practice after an off-day, the Broncos had plenty of energy and intensity for the one-hour, 40-minute session, which took place without pads. "I thought our effort was good," Kubiak said.
... Rookie QB Paxton Lynch was more decisive at escaping the pocket Monday. Twice he escaped from pressure mounted by Eddie Yarbrough off the edge to turn sacks into sizable gains via scrambles.
... RBs Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson each ripped off runs that would have gone for touchdowns in game conditions.
... OLB Von Miller did a good job working off the edge, and caused a Siemian incompletion by reading a play-fake bootleg perfectly and pressuring the co-No. 1 quarterback.
... C James Ferentz sat out Monday's practice after his "knee swelled up on him a little bit," Kubiak said. Ferentz still wanted to practice, but "I had to kick him out," Kubiak added. He is expected to play extensively Thursday.
... WR Jordan Taylor was also held out because his groin was "a little tight," Kubiak said. As with Ferentz, Kubiak said Taylor is expected to see plenty of work against the Bears in the preseason opener.
... RT Donald Stephenson was dressed for practice, but held out of team and nine-on-seven repetitions as he continues to recover from a calf injury.
... TE John Phillips missed a seventh consecutive practice because of the ankle injury he suffered on July 30.
... OL Ty Sambrailo missed a sixth straight practice because of the right elbow injury he incurred on July 31. He is listed as a co-first teamer on the depth chart at right guard with Michael Schofield.
... Schofield worked at right tackle in place of Stephenson. With Schofield working outside, Darrion Weems worked at right guard in place of Sambrailo.
... Miller and Okung saw their most extensive work of training camp to date as they continue to be brought up to speed, working in team periods throughout the practice.
WEATHER REPORT:After three days of practice under mostly cloudy conditions, bright sunshine returned to the UCHealth Training Center on Monday, with practice taking place in temperatures that rose from 74°F/23°C to 79°F/26°C.