ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — When Jerry Jeudy jogs out for his first snap on Sept. 14 against the Titans, he'll have just a few weeks of full-speed NFL practice on which to rely.
The 15th-overall pick lost out on hundreds of OTA reps and must cope with a truncated training camp in which teams cannot host joint practices. Then, of course, there's the matter of game action. Jeudy likely wouldn't have played an overwhelming amount in the 2020 preseason, but he would've been able to test his skills against other teams.
Instead, Jeudy's trip to Empower Field at Mile High for Saturday's stadium practice will likely be his lone reps on a game field before the season opener.
The Alabama product, though, doesn't seem worried.
"I don't really think it's really challenging for me because the more you practice, the more reps you get and the easier it gets," Jeudy said. "I feel like us practicing right now is helping me adjust to the game. I know having OTAs and preseason games are a big deal, but I feel like if you're not prepared when it's game day, you're not supposed to be out there. I feel like our coaches have been doing a good job preparing us to be ready for Sundays."
If you listen to Jeudy's teammates, they don't sound too concerned about his lack of reps, either. A.J. Bouye said the rookie's route-running reminded him of Amari Cooper, and Kareem Jackson said Jeudy's ability to get out of his breaks is "better than anyone I've ever seen before."
Cornerback Bryce Callahan, meanwhile, said going up against the rookie has helped him hone his own game.
"He's a great player," Callahan said. "I love going up against him, because I know I'm getting better. He's a savvy receiver and he knows how to create that separation that quarterbacks love to see."
Those comments mean quite a bit to Jeudy because of Bouye and Jackson's experience in the league. Both of the players have covered their fair share of receivers during lengthy careers, and Jeudy has clearly left a lasting impression.
"It means a lot because guys like that have like eight years in the league, so they've seen the best of the best," Jeudy said. "Going out there and saying those type of words — [I'm] really excited to hear that from them."
Yet while Jeudy has paid close attention to his coaches and teammates, he said he hasn't ventured much into a social media sphere that has already crowned him as the league's next best receiver.
"To be honest, I haven't been dealing with it," Jeudy said. "I just go out there and do what I do each and every day. I don't really pay too much attention to it. It's good that they say a lot of great things about me. I love to hear it, but I'm just out here trying to get better each and every day."
FANS IN THE STANDS
Some coaches around the NFL have expressed frustration that there isn't a blanket policy regarding fan attendance for Week 1. The Broncos announced they will play against the Titans without fans in attendance, but some teams are planning to proceed with a limited capacity.
Asked whether a policy should be implemented to ensure competitive balance, Fangio focused on the positive aspect of being able to have fans at certain venues.
"I really don't give a damn about that," Fangio said. "If we can play in a stadium that's full, half-full, a third-full, home or away, we're happy. That shows progress with the COVID. Otherwise, I personally don't care, other than that I would like to see fans."
Cornerback Bryce Callahan watched from afar last season as Drew Lock won four of his five starts as a rookie. Now that he's practicing against the second-year quarterback, he's seen the former second-round pick's talent up close.
"He's got a great arm and he can drop dimes," Callahan said. "He knows how to find that guy that's open, so I'm excited to see him out there."