Shane Ray's Rays Awareness foundation supplied backpacks full of school supplies at the Denver Rescue Mission on Friday. (photos by Ben Swanson
DENVER —** Two weeks after suffering a torn ligament in his left wrist on the first day of training camp, Shane Ray has gotten his stitches removed and is recovering according to plan, he said Friday.
After spending the afternoon exercising his healthy hand by autographing school supplies provided by his Rays Awareness foundation for children at the Denver Rescue Mission, Ray said he's still on course to return early in the regular season.
"Everything's healing fine," Ray said. "The doctor says my hand's healing well. My stitches, when they came out, my scars looked good. So I'm just excited, man. This process — I look at it as they gave me four extra weeks to train, so I'm just going to keep looking at it like that, keep working and get ready for the season."
With the removal of his stitches, Ray can return to the gym without worrying about disturbing the healing process after surgery.
"That's a great step for me to be able to actually work out and sweat and do something else," Ray said. "So I'm getting on my cardio, trying to find ways to get in the weight room so I can lift. So it's all coming together. Like I said, it's unfortunate, but when I do come back, I'll be more than prepared."
While his teammates traveled to Chicago for Thursday's preseason opener, Ray hosted a few other teammates who stayed behind and they watched the game together.
"I had all the other guys who couldn't travel or were hurt come over and we watched the game, critiqued all of our teammates and celebrated the win," Ray said. "That's what matters at the end of the day."
While Ray and Shaquil Barrett spent Thursday evening watching the game from home, Von Miller watched from the sideline in Chicago. With two outside linebackers recovering from injury and one being withheld from playing to ensure he wouldn't join them, the Broncos got a good look at their depth at the position, and so did Ray.
"I liked it," Ray said. "One of the things we've been trying to push to those guys is increasing our level of physicality, bringing pressure to the quarterback. And Kasim [Edebali] did an excellent job, first off, of creating pressure most of the game for us, showing that he can rush, showing that he can do different things. [Vontarrius] Dora had a great game, an excellent game of using his hands. And the thing with the preseason, what we enjoy seeing most with these guys is them using the techniques that we talk about, using the things that [Outside Linebackers] Coach [Fred Pagac] has taught us, using our abilities how we're supposed to use them.
"And to see these guys come together and understand that me and Shaq are down, that we need guys who can step up and do what we do, they're doing a good job. They're growing. There are a lot of young players but they're looking good and we're excited for those guys."