ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --If the Broncos' trip to Seattle had come in the regular season, Chris Harris Jr. would have made it and played. But in the preseason, with training camp in full swing, there was no reason for him to test his injured hamstring. So he remained back home, watched on television and emerged giddy at how his teammates' pass rush helped carve up the Seahawks' pass protection.
"They played excellent," the Pro Bowl cornerback said. "I was like a fan watching on TV back here rehabbing, but just to see that effort that they played [with], it was amazing. It was something that we definitely have to keep up the rest of the year."
Harris was still limited Monday, but took part in individual drills for the first time since Aug. 7 as the Broncos reconvened for training camp following an off-day Sunday.
"I feel a lot better," Harris said. "I just had a little minor injury. I just didn't want any setbacks or to really have anything, going into the season with a nagging injury. I just wanted to be smart about it."
The Broncos and Harris will continue to exercise caution this week, although he hopes to play in Houston on Saturday.
"If I have a great week of practice, I expect to play," he said.
He still has some distance to traverse. Bradley Roby took the team repetitions at right cornerback Monday while Harris watched. But Harris is on the right track and appeared to have no setbacks Monday.
TWEETS FROM THE FIELD:
It was status quo along the offensive line as the Broncos returned to training-camp work Monday morning at the UCHealth Training Center. The starting five, including rookies Ty Sambrailo and Max Garcia and first-year player Matt Paradis, remained intact.
... Head Coach Gary Kubiak liked the pace at which his team practiced Monday. "Coming off an off-day, sometimes you're going a little slow, but I thought we pushed each other," he said.
... One of the best defensive plays of training camp came when T.J. Ward intercepted a deep pass from Peyton Manning that was intended for Cody Latimer down the middle. Aqib Talib started the play by tipping the pass up as it came down, and Ward swooped in for the interception.
... WR Bennie Fowler struck again. He caught two deep passes up the left sideline, including one for a touchdown directly in front of the fans gathered on the west hillside. "He's had a good camp. The strength of his camp has probably been in the last two weeks," Kubiak said.
... Practice was filled with special visitors, including the U.S. Air Force Academy's football staff, the Denver Nuggets' coaching staff and general manager Tim Connelly and Colorado State head men's basketball coach Larry Eustachy.
... OLB Shane Ray showed off his speed during one-on-one drills, getting outside of the tackles on both sides to make plays. Von Miller also made an impression, beating opposing offensive linemen three plays in a row.
... OLB Shaquil Barrett and DE Kenny Anunike picked up where they left off at CenturyLink Field last Friday. Barrett looked quick around the edge and would have had a sack of Brock Osweiler in game conditions midway through practice. Anunike later batted down an Osweiler pass at the line of scrimmage.
... In a move-the-ball period near the end of practice, Manning drove the No. 1 offense into scoring range against the first-team defense by completing all four of his passes: two to WR Cody Latimer, one to WR Jordan Norwood and another to TE Virgil Green. Osweiler went 3-of-4 leading the No. 2 offense, with the deep pass to Fowler up the left sideline defining his work in that period. Osweiler led Fowler perfectly, and the receiver reached out to grab the pass just ahead of CB Curtis Marsh. That connection made up for an earlier missed deep opportunity to Andre Caldwell on a post route.
... WR Jordan Norwood used his quick hands and long arms to snatch a pass from QB Zac Dysert as it appeared ready to whip past him.
... Newly acquired punter Spencer Lanning joined Brandon McManus and Connor Barth in working on kickoffs. Special teams was a point of emphasis, with two separate periods: one on kickoff returns and the other divided between blocking at the line of scrimmage and kick-blocking from the edge. Lanning shanked his first kickoff, then averaged 4.17 seconds of hang time on his next three, all of which reached the end zone.
The Broncos' secondary's work at practice highlights today's practice gallery from Day 18 of training camp. (All photos by Ben Swanson)
... WR Emmanuel Sanders was back on the sideline as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Sanders practiced last Wednesday but did not play in Friday's game at Seattle and will be held out "a couple of more days," Kubiak said. "He worked out before the game and worked out [well]. There continues to be some soreness after a workout, so we're going to take a little bit different plan with him this week."
... RB C.J. Anderson had a full practice of work three days after briefly receiving treatment for an ankle injury in Seattle. Anderson said after the game that he was fine, and that a bout with the flu caused him more trouble than the ankle. Anderson briefly left practice during warm-ups to return to the locker room, but quickly came back for practice.
... NT Marvin Austin Jr. and OLB Lerentee McCray remained sidelined because of groin injuries.
... CBs Kayvon Webster and Chris Harris Jr. returned to practice, but both saw limited work.
... TE Jeff Heuerman, as usual, did not practice because of a torn ACL but cannot go onto injured reserve until the first cut Sept. 1.
... OT Charles Sweeton left practice via cart after suffering a dislocated finger. "He should be fine," Kubiak said.
... CB Tony Carter left early after cramping up in his hamstring, Kubiak said.
WEATHER REPORT:A day after the storm, a gorgeous morning greeted the Broncos at the UCHealth Training Center. Practice began in 72°F/22.2°C conditions, and the temperature climbed to 80°F/26.7°C when practice ended.