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Chris Harris Jr.'s recovery making strides


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** Chris Harris Jr. warned us before the first game. He said, "Y'all will be amazed come Sunday when you see me out there moving."

Just eight months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL, Harris was ready and excited to get back onto the field. Viewers were amazed, or at least should have been, to see Harris moving and playing so well. He tallied three tackles and two passes defended in a very solid comeback effort after an impressive rehabilitation schedule.

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio saw a lot of great things to take away from Harris' return.

"He did great," Del Rio said. "Chris is an ultra-competitive, very aggressive, intelligent football player. There's an element of toughness that he brings to the game that we really appreciate. So I thought he did a nice job for us."

With his first game behind him, Harris continues to get more comfortable.

"It just gave me even more confidence going into this week, knowing I still have the abilities to play my game," Harris said. "I'm just going to get better each week as my knee continues to build its stamina and get stronger."

Not only will his knee's improved stamina make him better on the field, but it will allow him to play more snaps. Getting back into the swing of things means he'll be able to get in on more than 53 percent of the snaps, as he did in the first game.

Fatigue was a big factor for him, but that's not a surprise when players come back from an injury that cuts into offseason conditioning. Von Miller also spoke on his conditioning coming along. "The knee wasn't an issue, it was more conditioning," Miller said after the game on Sunday. "I was more thinking about just breathing."

But getting more practice under his belt will help Harris get his feet under him moving forward. He's been taking his recovery in steps, first setting a goal to just get back and start a game before moving on to focusing on finishing games.
Head Coach John Fox noted that he thinks the team's health at cornerback is improving, though what personnel sets the Chiefs trot out could decide whether Harris' reps increase.

It'll certainly be a welcome sight to see Harris get more time against the Chiefs. With Dwayne Bowe back from suspension, Kansas City's offense looks to be more complete than the version seen in their Week 1 matchup against the Titans.

One of the biggest changes from Week 1 to Week 2 will be in terms of intensity as the Broncos and Chiefs renew their AFC West division rivalry. With Denver coming out on top in the last four contests and Kansas City looking to avoid an 0-2 start, the Chiefs will assuredly bring revived vigor to the matchup on Sunday.

"I think any team we play is dangerous, because we're the hunted," Harris said. "Everybody wants to beat us and get that game on their mark, so they see us as a championship game every week."

"I know no team wants to start off 0-2, so I expect the Chiefs to lay it on the line, bring their best plays and that'll be the only thing I expect," Harris added.

After last week's game in which the Colts put pressure on the defense late, Harris said the defense is looking to cut off any such effort this time around: "When we got them down, we got to step on their throat in the game from there, not let them hang around."

The Broncos defense will be better equipped to do just that with Harris' health improving and his impact increasing from week to week. Then it will be the opposing offenses that'll really be amazed.

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