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Young Broncos fan meets Head Coach Gary Kubiak, K Brandon McManus after tough break


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Grant Thornham will never again be this happy to break a bone.

On Friday at Broncos training camp, Grant was with friends from summer camp when special teams drills began. As kicker Brandon McManus boomed field goals through the uprights, Grant and friends looked for a spot where they could be on the receiving end of the kicks.

Grant, 10, wasn't quite ready for one of the kicks, though, and threw up his right arm to try to stop the ball.

"[The ball] bent it back because it was really fast," Grant said, "and I didn't know how fast it would go."

Grant said his wrist hurt the rest of the day at camp, and his dad, Patrick Thornham, first thought the injury could be more than a sprain when Grant had trouble opening a door on Friday night.

Pretty soon, Grant and his dad were off to the doctor, where Grant was fitted with the last orange cast (with blue wrap underneath). By Sunday morning, though, Grant was back at Broncos camp, where the team welcomed him for a tour and a meet-and-greet with McManus and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. And for the entirety of the visit, a smile was permanantly affixed to Grant's face.

"It's really cool," Grant said. "I'm really glad I broke my arm this way. It's the best way for me because it's my favorite thing to do: to watch the Broncos and watch them play."

For Grant's dad, the orthopedist's office is becoming a second home. Just last week, Patrick was there with his daugther to get her own cast removed.

But an all-access morning with the Broncos was a nice way to take the family's mind off the injury and the few weeks of fall baseball that Grant will miss. He said he was amazed at how big the players looked up close, and the personal time with McManus and Thomas.

Both of the Broncos starters spent time after practice with Grant to hear his story, joke around with the fifth grader and, of course, sign his cast.

"I think it was my fault" McManus said with a laugh. "You can blame me."

Head Coach Gary Kubiak also signed a football for Grant and joked that next time he should stay on the field so that he doesn't get hurt again.

The 2016-17 season has started well from Grant's perspective, and he sees similar success coming for the Broncos this year.

"Actually, last year, I made this homemade confetti," Grant said. "Cause I was really confident we were gonna win, so I made it the first game -- it was paper. I think we have a really good chance. I think our quarterbacks are pretty good. I got Sanchez' autograph [at the] training camp practice with my camp. So I think we'll do really well. Also, with [OLB] Von [Miller]."

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