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Emmanuel Sanders reaches out to absent teammate Carlos Henderson to offer support

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Wide receiver Carlos Henderson remains absent from Broncos training camp, but at least one of his teammates has reached out to the 2017 third-round pick in recent days.

Fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Sunday he called Henderson, but the second-year player did not answer the phone.

"I texted him and told him, 'This is bigger than football,'" Sanders said. "I just want to talk to him about life. I don't care if he plays another down of football, I just want to make sure [he's] all right. I reached out to him, [and I'll] give him some time. Then I'll reach out to him and give him some guidance and however I can help."

Henderson was designated Wednesday as Reserve/Did Not Report, and Head Coach Vance Joseph said Friday the receiver was dealing with "family problems."

"It's strictly on Carlos if he wants to continue to play football, if he wants to come back to camp and compete," Joseph said. "That's strictly personal with Carlos."

Receiver Isaiah McKenzie hasn't talked to Henderson since reporting to camp, but he told Orange and Blue 760's "First and Ten at Ten" on Sunday that when he and Henderson recently went to Puerto Rico, there was no sign that he would not report.

"We always talk to each other because we came in together, and we always hung around each other and talked to each other on a personal level, things like that," McKenzie said. "I love the guy. The guy's like a brother to me, and each and every day I pray for him, and I hope he gets better."

While the specifics of Henderson's situation remain private, Sanders said a former teammate dealt with similar circumstances.

Cole Beasley, who played with Sanders at SMU, briefly decided to leave football when he was an undrafted rookie on the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. The now-six-year veteran soon decided to return and has caught 20 touchdown passes in his career.

Whether Henderson returns to training camp or to the team remains to be seen.

"He's just got to figure it out," Sanders said. "Whatever it is — if it's football or whatever — he's just got to figure it out and he's got to find his happiness."

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