Tue Aug 13 4:36pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, file photograph, Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, (10) confers with wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni during an NFL football training camp session in Englewood, Colo. Emmanuel Sanders' comeback was more complex than most people realized. The Denver Broncos' 32-year-old receiver revealed this week that he had surgeries on both ankles in the offseason, one to repair his left Achilles tendon which he tore in practice last December and one on his right ankle a month later.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Emmanuel Sanders' comeback was more complex than he had let on.
The Denver Broncos' 32-year-old receiver revealed this week that he had surgeries on both ankles in the offseason, one to repair his left Achilles tendon, which he tore in practice last December, and one to fix a severely sprained right ankle a month later.
Sanders recounted fans approaching him at the mall last winter and asking, ''How's the Achilles doing?'' while pointing at the boot on his right foot.
''I'm like, `I'm good. But it's not my Achilles. It's actually my ankle,''' Sanders said Tuesday. ''But I kind of kept that under wraps because I didn't want you guys writing stories of hey, there's no way he can battle through two surgeries. So, I just said I'm going to keep it under wraps and let you guys know once I get myself back healthy and feeling good.''
He's at that point now.
Sanders methodically ramped up his workload since training camp began July 18 to the point that he has participated in every 11-on-11 period so far this week. He plans to face the San Francisco 49ers in two joint practices this weekend, and if all goes well, he'll go against them Monday night in the Broncos' third preseason game.
''Obviously, everybody's like, `You're playing in the preseason coming off an Achilles?!' But at the same time, I want to get in a groove before the first regular season game,'' Sanders said.
Sanders initially injured his right ankle midway through the 2017 season and missed four games down the stretch. ''We were going to have surgery last spring but we didn't do it because it was feeling good,'' he said.
That turned out to be a big mistake when the pain returned during his conditioning test at the start of training camp last summer, ''and I thought there's no way I'm going to make it through the season on this,'' Sanders said.
He didn't make it through the year, tearing his left Achilles tendon at practice on Dec. 5 , something he told 9News he believes resulted from favoring his right ankle all season.
So, a month after his Achilles tendon surgery, Sanders had what's known as a ''tightrope'' procedure on his right ankle. The surgery is being used in athletes to accelerate recovery from high ankle sprains. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had the same operation last December and played in last season's national championship four weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in the SEC championship.
Sanders said that while his left foot still gets sore, ''it's minute compared to what I was dealing with'' in his right ankle, which is now pain-free.
''I feel like all the doctors, they done repaired me back to myself,'' Sanders said.
His goal now is to get his stamina up so he can run 30 to 40 routes on game days.
Sanders said ''the chemistry is coming,'' with new quarterback Joe Flacco. ''Everything is looking good. It's all about going out and just trying to master this offense so that when (the opener against Oakland) comes around we're putting up points and we're hooking up on deep passes and trying to create explosive plays.
''Because that's what it's about: it's not about the dink and dunk; it's about those chunk explosive plays. So, that's what I know that I have to bring to the table.''
Notes: Coach Vic Fangio joined Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in a pre-practice clap to rile up the fans on the last open practice of training camp. ... With a day off ahead, OLB Malik Reed (possible oblique injury) and Aaron Wallace (hamstring) were held out Tuesday. ... Fangio said he ended a long tradition of rookie haircut hazing in Denver because ''I just don't think it's right.''
July 16th: Training Camp Preview
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook arrived at camp last Tuesday despite previously stating that he would not report unless he received a new deal. However, under the new collective bargaining agreement, the 24-year-old ran the risk of becoming a restricted free agent beyond 2020 by not showing up, something he ultimately did not want to do. Cook had a breakout season in 2019, finishing with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. He also added 53 catches for 519 yards and was also one of the most prolific runners after contact. He is slated to make $1.3 million if an agreement isn't reached. Nonetheless, with the team vowing to work to get a new deal done, fantasy managers can feel a bit more confident by selecting Cook in the first round of fantasy drafts for the upcoming campaign.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has no plans to opt out of the 2020 NFL season, despite negative comments he made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. In the interview, Beckham criticized the NFL, stating, I just feel like the season shouldnt happen and Im prepared for it to not happen and I wouldnt mind not having it. Were not ready for the season, so why are we trying to push forward?" It turns out that the interview took place two weeks ago and Beckham has since backed off on those comments after he saw how safe and sanitary everything inside the Cleveland facility has been. Beckham should be treated as an upside WR2 in fantasy drafts this season.
Las Vegas Raiders DT P.J. Hall will be released Monday, Aug. 3, two years after selecting him in the second round of the NFL draft.
Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (illness) recently tested positive for coronavirus but is reportedly asymptomatic. Pederson will continue to lead the Eagles virtually 'as much as he can' while assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will serve as the interim head coach in his absence.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (illness) recently tested positive for coronavirus but is reportedly asymptomatic, according to sources.
New Orleans Saints DB Chris Q. Johnson, OG Adrian Magee and RB Taquan Mizzell were waived Sunday, Aug. 2.
Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Free-agent WR Dontrelle Inman (Colts) visited the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Aug. 2.
New Orleans Saints WRs Maurice Harris and Tommylee Lewis were released Sunday, Aug. 2.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Michel probably will miss some practice time during camp because of his injury but appears to be on track for the start of the regular season. He can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy running back if he is healhy.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (undisclosed) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu struggled after his trade to the Patriots and posted only 207 yards in eight games. He probably will be a top three receiver for the Patriots if he can remain healthy and should be rostered in most fantasy leagues in 2020.
New York Giants wide receiver/kick returner Da'Mari Scott has elected to opt out of the 2020 NFL season. Scott has mostly been a special teams contributor when active. He was active for five games last season and three in 2018 for the Bills. Scott has caught two passes in his career, for a total of 22 yards.
Dallas Cowboys full back Jamize Olawale has chose to opt out of the 2020 season. In two seasons with Dallas, Olawale has yet to attempt a rush and has caught just two passes. He has primarily worked on special teams, logging 539 special teams snaps as compared to just 232 offensive snaps (almost all for blocking). He's under contract for $1.3 million in 2021.
New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (hamstring) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Free-agent RB Jeremy Hill (Patriots) signed with the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday, Aug. 2. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Free-agent DT Niles Scott (Bengals) and CB Akeem King (Seahawks) signed with the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Aug. 2. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Washington will be sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time, so fantasy players can keep an eye on the situation. He had a solid 2019 season with 73 receiving yards and should be a top-three receiver for the Steelers again this season. He can be a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver in fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons LB Foyesade Oluokun was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 2.
The Cleveland Browns placed wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) on the active/PUP list on Sunday. The team said that Landry has not had a setback and is still on schedule in his recovery. Landry is healing up from February hip surgery. Initially given a 6-8 month timetable to return, Landry will be cutting it close if he wants to be active for Week 1. If Landry is unable to start the season on time, Kareem Hunt could see added snaps as a wide receiver. When healthy, Landry is a solid WR2 in PPR leagues.
Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry (hip) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Landry will be limited during training camp but is on track for the start of the regular season. He will continue to see plenty of targets in the passing game and can be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.