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Broncos kick off NFL training camps with Sanders on board

Wed Jul 17 5:11pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Joe Flacco, Emmanuel Sanders, Paxton Lynch, Phillip Lindsay, Patrick Mahomes, Drew Lock

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders takes part in drills at the team's NFL football training facility Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos are the first team in the NFL to kick off training camp Thursday, and they'll do it with Emmanuel Sanders on hand but maybe not Drew Lock.

Sanders won't be full-go as he continues his comeback from a torn Achilles tendon last December, but ''Emmanuel looks good. He's not going to go on PUP. He'll start practicing from Day 1,'' general manager John Elway said Wednesday. ''Obviously we're going to work him in slowly.''

Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay, who hasn't taken a snap since suffering a wrist injury at Oakland on Christmas Eve, also will be eased into action.

''Lindsay's ready to go,'' new head coach Vic Fangio said. ''Lindsay, Emmanuel, we'll ease them in, but we'll get them in quickly.''

Rookies and veterans reported to UC Health Training Center on Wednesday, a week earlier than usual because of the Broncos' upcoming Hall of Fame game against Washington on Aug. 1.

Three other teams - the Cardinals, Seahawks and Ravens - also had rookies report Wednesday but their veterans get several more days of summer vacation, unlike the Broncos.

Lock, however, was missing.

He's the last Broncos rookie without a contract, leaving him a finite amount in Denver's rookie salary pool and his representatives hammering out details such as performance bonuses.

''We'll see,'' Elway said when asked if he felt Lock would be in camp for the first workout Thursday morning. ''I'm not going to make a prediction one way or the other but we're hoping that he's going to be here.''

Lock is vying for the backup job behind newcomer Joe Flacco, whom Elway acquired from Baltimore in yet another offseason makeover.

Widely viewed as a first-round prospect, Lock slipped to the second round, where the Broncos selected him with the 42nd overall pick, one spot behind their new left guard Dalton Risner. Lock has to get used to playing under center after hardly doing so at Missouri.

After the Paxton Lynch fiasco, Elway views his QB situation now like the Chiefs did with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes two years ago, with the apprentice getting to take his time learning and the veteran preparing to be the starter.

''We feel like he's in his prime,'' Elway said of Flacco, 34. ''At least we hope he is.''

Elway said he's optimistic because new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello brings to Denver the roots of the Baltimore system in which Flacco excelled early in his career.

Also, ''anytime you get traded midway in your career, two-thirds of the way through your career, you've got something to prove,'' Elway said.

Adding Flacco in a trade and Lock in the draft allows the Broncos ''to solidify that position for a while,'' Elway said. ''Obviously, we've been looking for one since Peyton (Manning) retired. That's always a difficult position to feel. But I finally feel good about that position and where we are.''

The Broncos are coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1971-72 and while they have another rookie head coach, Fangio is 61 and has decades of experience coaching in the pros.

''We've got a lot of work ahead of us,'' Elway said. ''We always have high expectations of ourselves but we just know that the position that we're in and the last two seasons that we've had we've got to take it one day at a time and that's what we're going to do.

''And we're in good shape, too. I think being in early, having the extra week, playing in the Hall of Fame game is going to help us with the new staff. I think that's a positive for us being in early.''

Fangio's first camp as a head coach includes an NFL-most 19 open practices.

''I think it's good to have the fans out here,'' Fangio said. ''You know, the history of the NFL, you had to go to college campuses back in the day because the facilities didn't look like this. When I first went to the Saints in the mid-80s, we had an 80-yard grass field, OK? We had no cafeteria.

''Guys who go to a greasy deli for lunch right across the street. So, you were forced to go to small college campuses to have your two-a-days because they had cafeterias, because they had classrooms and because they had dorms to sleep in. A byproduct of that was fans could come and watch.

''I think one of the things, small things, that has driven the NFL to being the most popular sport in the country is that you let people come and watch practice, people that maybe cannot afford to go to the game and maybe get an autograph from a player. Maybe a player shakes their hand and throws them a sweatband or a glove,'' Fangio added.

''You know, you do that with a young person, you've got a fan for life. And football has a fan for life. There's more to be gained out of that than any advertising slogan or any commercial that you put on TV.''

Player Notes
Carl Davis Aug 9 8:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock and DT Carl Davis were signed to undisclosed contracts by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Aug. 9.

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Derrius Guice Aug 9 7:33pm ET

Free-agent RB Derrius Guice (Football Team) passed through waivers unclaimed Sunday, Aug. 9.

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Kenjon Barner Aug 9 6:13pm ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) is expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in the near future, according to a source.

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Caraun Reid Aug 9 5:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Caraun Reid (Cardinals) signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Marqui Christian Aug 9 5:23pm ET

Free-agent S Marqui Christian (Jets) recently met with the Chicago Bears.

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Jordan Reed Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent TE Jordan Reed (Football Team) officially signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Aug. 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy Spin: Reed has dealt with injuries during his career but has posted solid numbers when healthy. He will be the No. 2 tight end for the 49ers behind George Kittle but should have a decent role in the passing game. Reed probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end in most leagues.

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Tramaine Brock Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock (Titans) is meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9, and likely will sign with the team if the meeting goes well, according to a source.

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Jatavis Brown Aug 9 4:23pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles LB Jatavis Brown was placed on the Reserve/Retired list Sunday, Aug. 9.

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Mike Daniels Aug 9 3:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) is meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 9, and is expected to sign with the team, according to a source.

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A'Shawn Robinson Aug 9 3:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams DT A'Shawn Robinson (undisclosed) is expected to play at some point during the 2020 season, but the team will take things slow with him since he was diagnosed with a medical issue during the medical on-boarding process.

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Aug 9 2:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Duke Williams was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9. The team also released CB Akeem King.

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Logan Thomas Aug 9 2:33pm ET

Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9.

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J.J. Wilcox Aug 9 1:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) officially re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Darqueze Dennard Aug 9 11:43am ET

Atlanta Falcons CB Darqueze Dennard will compete for a starting position in the team's secondary at left cornerback and could be used in nickel packages if CB Kendall Sheffield is moved outside, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

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Reuben Foster Aug 9 10:23am ET

Washington Football Team LB Reuben Foster (knee) was removed from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 9.

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Chester Rogers Aug 9 10:00am ET

With both Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson opting out of the 2020 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins needed help at wide receiver. They got that help on Sunday, signing former Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers. Rogers won't set the world on fire, but he did have 53 catches for 485 yards in 2018 before dropping off last season. He's clearly not competing with DeVante Parker and Preston Williams for the top roles in Miami, but he could carve out a role as the team's No. 3 receiver. That's probably not a fantasy relevant role, but he could be worth a late pick in best ball formats just in case.

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T.J. Hockenson Aug 9 10:00am ET

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson has been activated from the league's reserve/COVID-19 list. A good amount of Detroit's offense was put on the list, including quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Kenny Golladay, but all have been removed, so the Lions offense should be back to normal now. Unless we hear otherwise, we can assume Hockenson is healthy and that he should be drafted as a high-end TE2 with plenty of upside. He's a potential candidate for a big second-year breakout.

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Chester Rogers Aug 9 9:43am ET

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent WR Chester Rogers (Colts) to a one-year contract Sunday, Oct. 9. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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A.J. Green Aug 8 11:13pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said his training regiment is designed to help him avoid the injuries he has dealt with the last couple of seasons. 'We did more stuff in testing those ankles, strengthen those ankles, strengthen these toes, learning how to land better,' Green said. 'Just little things like that I didn't do in previous years.'

Fantasy Spin: Even if Green is able to stay healthy in 2020, he will still be working with a rookie quarterback. He is worth grabbing as a WR3, but don't bank on Green rejoining the ranks of the elite fantasy receivers.

From TheHuddle