ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** For the first time since scrimmaging in front of 44,439 fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday, the Broncos returned to the practice fields at Dove Valley.
Below is a recap of the padded practice session.
Tight end Joel Dreessen did not practice with a left knee injury. Head Coach John Fox said Dreessen underwent a knee scope this afternoon.
Other players who did not participate included Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (left ankle), Greg Orton (right ankle) and Jeremiah Johnson (left toe).
Ryan Clady (right shoulder), Quinton Carter (knee) and Jacob Tamme (quad) were all limited. Quincy McDuffie is suffering from a left hamstring injury.
Orlando Franklin left practice with a hip injury.
Defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams were back on the practice field in full pads.
- During a red zone drill, safety Duke Ihenacho had a leaping breakup of a pass from quarterback Peyton Manning intended for tight end Julius Thomas in the corner of the end zone. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard sprinted over to slap hands with the second-year safety and congratulate him.
- Later in the drill, fellow safety Rahim Moore broke up a pass in the end zone as well, helping to keep the offense scoreless during that portion of the period.
- Wide receiver Andre Caldwell had a pair of long catches -- one during seven-on-sevens when he sprinted down the sideline and hauled in a Manning pass and another during full-team drills.
- Manning hit Decker on a deep pass where the receiver turned around and snatched the ball in front of cornerback Omar Bolden. Later in team drills, Decker went low to make a shoestring catch of a Manning pass.
- Cornerback Aaron Hester broke up a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Tavarres King, which drew raucous cheers from the defensive sideline.
- During one-on-ones between corners and receivers, wide receiver Kemonte' Bateman leaped and made a catch in the back of the end zone over cornerback Nigel Malone using just his fingertips, coming down for the touchdown from quarterback Brock Osweiler.
- Also in one-on-ones, Demaryius Thomas reached back to haul in a pass with Champ Bailey right on his shoulder.
- Julius Thomas made a catch just past Ihenacho, who was in tight coverage, during seven-on-sevens.
- Early in practice, the quarterbacks participated in a drill where the aim was to throw the ball into a trash can in the corner of the end zone.
- Rodgers-Cromartie came out to the field to watch practice midway through the session.
- Ihenacho was already fired up while the team was stretching, shouting out what sounded like bird calls to the crowd, which echoed the shouts back at him.
- The very last portion of practice gave the offense one shot to fire a Hail Mary into the end zone. The defense batted down each pass.