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Lock's recovery time proves valuable as rookie quarterback looks 'a little bit better' in return to practice

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Drew Lock returns to practice, his reps with the Broncos’ offense are limited.

In a given practice this week, he’s likely to only get eight to 10 snaps in the Broncos’ system, Head Coach Vic Fangio said Thursday.

The rest of the time, Lock will split scout-team reps and run the Vikings’ offense.

But if those eight to 10 snaps don’t sound like much, consider that those plays represent 20-25 percent of the Broncos’ offensive plays during a given practice.

“The offense is only getting about 38, 39 snaps total,” Fangio said. “So when you look at it that way, it’s pretty significant.”

In those eight to 10 opportunities, Lock has shown Fangio that his recovery from a thumb injury hasn’t resulted in lost time.

Instead, Lock has taken steps forward in the time since he suffered a thumb injury on Aug. 19 that landed him on injured reserve.

“I think the time off in some ways — although you never want it — helped him,” Fangio said. “I think he learned a lot, whereas when he was going through it in the spring and in training camp before he got hurt, it was piling up on him I think. Besides learning the new offense and being under center — which he had never done in college — etc., all those things were piling up on him and getting in the way of progressing the way you’d like to see him progress. I think through his time off, he’s been able to solve some of those issues emotionally and mentally.”

Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello seemed to agree with Fangio’s assessment of the benefits of Lock’s recovery period. 

“For a guy to step back without the pressure and to observe, to work and grow as a player in this league, regardless of the position or the person, it only benefits them,” Scangarello said. “I really believe that. He addressed it the right way, he attacked it the right way and in the long run we’ll see how that pays off, but I think that, yeah, it definitely can help somebody if they approach it the right way.”

Through two days of practice, Fangio has seen that translate to the field.

“I think he’s looked a little bit better the first two days, albeit [in] eight to 10 snaps, half the scout-team snaps,” Fangio said. “[It’s a] very limited sample.”

Outside linebacker Von Miller, though, has already seen enough to make up his mind about Lock’s potential.

“I just want to be here when he gets famous,” Miller said. “He’s going to kill it. He’s going to kill it. He’s got everything you need. The other day, he ran out and did like a little bootleg [pass], and he threw it and it was an incomplete pass. But I’ve seen a lot of good ones play, and that was probably the best incomplete pass that I’ve seen thrown. He has a little flip up [in his hair]. He’s just a star in the making.

“You saw it with Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers and all these guys. They just blow up. I see the same stuff with Drew. All he has to do is just keep doing what he’s doing, and [the] good karma and the type of guy he is, is all going to come back to him.”

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