ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Pain doesn’t always hinder a player in accordance with the football calendar.
On April 22, former Broncos outside linebacker extraordinaire DeMarcus Ware posted on social media a specialized instructional session on the techniques of pass rushing he gave to current Broncos outside linebacker extraordinaire Bradley Chubb.
>>Video above: 9NEWS insider Mike Klis 1-on-1 with Broncos GM George Paton on eve of training camp
Although Chubb missed the final two games of the 2020 season with an ankle injury, clearly he was feeling well enough then to go through one of Ware’s famously arduous workouts.
Four weeks later, Chubb was undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle as the discomfort either persisted or magnified.
The next week the Broncos began OTAs, followed by minicamp, both of which Chubb missed to rehabilitate his ankle. He has also missed the first two days of training camp practices this week, although he has been getting in his work on the side.
He could return to some team drills next week, but still, because the ankle caused Chubb to miss the end of last season, the question was posed to Broncos head coach Vic Fangio if the team wished the ankle procedure was conducted earlier.
"Yeah, in hindsight, for sure," Fangio said Thursday. "Everybody was confident that it would heal on its own naturally. The surgery—when he did it—was not a slam dunk to have it. There was still a school of thought that he could have overcome it naturally. He decided to go do it, and when they went in there, it was good that he did. Not that it was bad, but it was very easily fixable. It wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be or could be. He’ll be back soon."
It will be nearly four months between Chubb’s ankle surgery and the Broncos’ season opener Sept. 12 at the New York Giants. The expectation is Chubb will be there lining up opposite Von Miller in Fangio’s defensive starting lineup.
Through the first two days of camp, perhaps no player has consistently shined more than second-year receiver Jerry Jeudy, who has made multiple nice snags without a drop. Some of this stems from Jeudy’s hard work on catching skills during the offseason. And some of it may be the NFL safety rules and restrictions have made these hot summer mornings at UCHealth Training Center no big sweat for Jeudy compared to his college training camp sessions with Nick Saban at Alabama.
"College training camp is a lot more difficult, a lot harder practices," Jeudy said. "The NFL is mostly taking care of your body and taking care of the little things, so yeah it's a lot easier for me."
As an interior defensive lineman, Shelby Harris had an impressive 6.0 sacks with a league-most 9 pass deflections in 2019, and an impressive 11 quarterback hits with another 7 pass deflections in just 11 games last year. So what is the most important statistic for interior defensive linemen?
"Wins," Harris said. "That’s it. That’s all that matters. This is a team game. This game is not set on one person, it’s about wins and that’s the emphasis this year. We’ve got to get the wins.
"And the big thing that Vic was talking about earlier— one-score games. With the way we play—we always are in one-score games, and we’ve got to come out on top of those."
The Broncos lost two rookie defensive backs to COVID-19 protocols this week. Jamar Johnson, a fifth-round safety, is out until Aug. 7. Fangio said he thought seventh-round cornerback Kary Vincent could return Monday. …
Rookie safety Caden Sterns intercepted Brett Rypien early in the practice. Rypien bounced back and made a nice off-script long completion to Kendall Hinton. …
Speaking of easier training camp practices, Bronco players have been getting periodic water breaks between drills. This is the first year of the water breaks with a stoppage in practice. A league mandate? "No, it’s a requirement from the fatigue police," Fangio said with a look of bemusement.
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