Jamaal Charles is getting closer to showing the Denver Broncos whether his knee is ready for football.
Charles, the former star running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, starting center Matt Paradis (hip surgeries) and defensive end Adam Gotsis (knee surgery) were all held out of 11-on-11 team drill contact through the first five days of training camp.
Following an off-day Tuesday, those three players will have their workload increased when camp resumes Wednesday.
“The plan for all three guys after Tuesday’s break is to get them more team reps—Gotsis, especially,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “Matt, we’re going to go slow, but probably give him two per period.
“Jamaal, we’re going to sprinkle him in seven-on-seven and keep him out of the team drills because we don’t want to get him tangled. We’re going to start him seven-on-seven … then add team probably in the next week.”
Joseph has undergone two knee surgeries the past two years that limited his playing time with the Chiefs. He took a couple seven-on-seven reps Monday.
You can tell James Ferentz is no longer a Bronco. How’s that? Because it took until day 5 of camp for a fight to break out.
It happened late in practice Monday when running back Stevan Ridley caught a flare pass and was forcibly shoved out of bounds by linebacker Zaire Anderson.
As the two started pushing each other, offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo rushed over to take care of his running back and a multiplayer melee ensued.
“I think when you see your offense line defend your running back, right, wrong, or indifferent, you kind of enjoy seeing that,’’ Joseph said. “You want to build toughness. You want to build guys tight to carry your teammates. Obviously, you can’t fight in games. That’s the part, from my chair, that you can’t allow. You can’t build habits of fighting when adversity strikes because in football games, it’s going to be a bad result. I don’t mind some of it, but I understand you can’t do it in a football game. So, we can’t have it.”
A couple plays after the skirmish, Joseph called a quick, team meeting and told the players to knock off the hijinks and get back to business. Scuffles were more common the previous two years with Ferentz scrapping to make the team as a back-up center. He is now with the New England Patriots.
Defensive end Derek Wolfe left practice with what Joseph said was a shoulder stinger. It was a precautionary move, although it did generate some concern because Wolfe was affected by a neck stinger last season. …
C.J. Anderson was accidentally tackled to the ground on the first team play Monday and got some quick medical attention. Rookie De’Angelo Henderson jumped in to replace him. Anderson shook it off and returned the next series. …
Billy Turner replaced Ron Leary at right guard Monday. Leary was sidelined with a groin pull. …
Rookie Isaiah McKenzie dropped a booming punt that never rotated from Riley Dixon. The diving sphere went right through Dixon’s arms. “Which is an unusual occurrence for him,’’ special teams coordinator Brock Olivo said. “He's usually spot on. I don't know if you saw it, but he was out here (after practice) and he caught probably 50 punts. That's the kind of kid he is, he's a budding pro.”