The Broncos finished a stretch of six consecutive days of practice Friday morning with a live short-yardage/goal-line drill.
“The offense took it to the defense there pretty good,” coach Vic Fangio said. “We didn’t stop very many plays on defense. (The offense) had their way with us there.”
For most of the team periods, the defense had the advantage, highlighted by tight coverage from cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan and an interception by safety Justin Simmons. But quarterback Drew Lock and the first-team offense had an effective hurry-up drive to precede the live period.
“I was pleased with the way they finished practice,” Fangio said of the offense. “But we have to make sure we move it well enough to get down to the goal line. It wasn’t our sharpest practice on offense until the end.
“Again, I see flashes. I see the potential. But flashes and potential don’t win in this league. We have to feel the urgency for how close we are to the first game and start looking really good.”
Miller, Gordon sit. Fangio said outside linebacker Von Miller (elbow) and running back Melvin Gordon (ribs) are day to day. Both were removed from Thursday’s practice and did not work Friday.
The Broncos received good news on inside linebacker Todd Davis’ left calf.
“It’s not the same calf he had (injured) last year nor is it as serious,” Fangio said. “I think he’ll miss at least a week and then after that, we’ll see how it goes.”
Davis missed two months last year, including the first two games, with a right calf injury.
Right tackle Elijah Wilkinson (ankle) was unable to finish practice, but it wasn’t the ankle he had surgery on earlier this year.
“Just a quick roll (of the ankle),” Wilkinson said. “I walked it off. They pulled me out — no reason to aggravate it anymore. I got tangled up with (outside linebacker Malik Reed), but it’s cool.”
Hamler’s recovery. Rookie receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) will be out a few weeks, putting his status for the Sept. 14 opener against Tennessee in doubt. The timetable will depend on the severity of the injury — Grade 1 is the least severe and Grade 3 would be a tear.
Dr. Kenton Fibel, primary care sports medicine physician at Cedars-Sinai’s Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, said first up for Hamler will be an MRI to determine the severity.
Fibel, also a team doctor for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, said it’s possible Hamler could receive a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection within a week of the injury or undergo blood flow restriction therapy, which also promotes healing.
“The PRP can be used to augment the healing of the muscle tissue,” Fibel said. “Blood flow restriction can allow you to work on some strength and conditioning without putting the same amount of load on the injured muscle.”
Fangio on Rivera. Fangio was asked about his relationship with Washington coach Ron Rivera, who revealed Thursday he has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of cancer in a lymph node.
“I know Ron a little bit and obviously, I’m hopeful he’ll be able to overcome this,” Fangio said. “I’ve heard where it’s a curable cancer and Ron is a tough guy deep down in his belly and he has a lot of toughness in his DNA. I’m sure he’s going to get through this as good as anybody can and I expect him to beat it.”
Rivera announced he will continue coaching during training camp.
Footnotes. Former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning attended practice to provide analysis for the team’s live internet stream with former safety Steve Atwater. … The Broncos need to decide on a starting center, which running back (Gordon or Phillip Lindsay) gets the first snap against Tennessee and other prominent roles. “Ideally, we’d like to make them as soon as possible but we’re not going to rush yet,” Fangio said. “But the first game is close. We may have to rush it a little bit, but I don’t feel that need at this moment. We want to make sure we’re making the right decisions.”