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Hackett: Hamler's recovery 'unbelievable,' but Broncos exercising caution


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos got to work on Monday with the start of voluntary veteran minicamp, one player who impressed Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett was wide receiver KJ Hamler, who has made remarkable strides in his recovery since suffering a season-ending knee injury only seven months ago.

"It's unbelievable," Hackett said. "There was one time … he ran an out route over there. I just kind of nodded my head saying, 'Wow.' That's just great to see. All the guys — everybody's working so hard. They all want to be out on the field. You appreciate that as a coach. They all want to contribute to the team."

While General Manager George Paton said Friday that Hamler is "well ahead of schedule," he would not indicate a timetable for Hamler's return to full health.

On Monday, Hackett also declined to specify his expectations for Hamler to be full go. Instead, he said, they'd be cautious with their approach, going off of guidance from the team's doctors and training staff.

"Our doctors [and] our trainers are amazing here," Hackett said. "I trust them. And it's about doing it the right way. We don't want to rush it too fast. We want to do what's right for him. …

"It's just about just kind of that process and making sure we don't push it too hard, we're pushing it enough and just make sure he does all the right things to get out there when he can."

After Monday's practice, Hamler's new quarterback said he also recognizes the incredible progress Hamler is making.

"To see a guy like KJ Hamler get healthy, to be working his way into here and practicing and playing," Russell Wilson said, "it's been really excellent."

Hackett also declined to say whether he expects outside linebacker Randy Gregory, who reportedly is recovering from a shoulder injury, to return in time for the start of training camp.

"Again, right now, we're just kind of working through everything," Hackett said.

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