Merely a week following ACL surgery, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. says he is off crutches.
You can attribute part of that to Harris going to one of the best surgeons in the sports business, Dr. James Andrews. You can attribute part of that to the fact that Harris' ACL was only partially torn, and that there was no other ligament damage found, according to the Denver Post.
You can also attribute part of that to Harris himself. He's made a career out of surprising people.
On Thursday, Harris told Mile High Report he is "doing great" and definitely "ahead of schedule" as he prepares for the most important offseason of his life. The fourth-year cornerback is set to become a Restricted Free Agent on March 11th, and the Broncos are expected to extend a first or second round tender to the man who once went undrafted in the NFL.
There's good reason for the Broncos to protect their rights of Harris. He was the 9th-ranked cornerback in the 2013 regular season, according to ProFootballFocus.com, and he played so well in half a playoff game that he ranks fifth in 2013 when you include postseason games. He entered 2013 as the 64th-best player in the NFL, and he should have earned a Pro Bowl for his performance this year.
Harris was peaking at just the right time for the Broncos, and Denver sorely missed him in Super Bowl XLVIII. Many suggested that Denver's loss of Harris hurt more than losing Von Miller. They were probably right.
With the right qualifying offer this month, the Broncos can make sure they won't miss Harris in 2014. Early indications are he'll be ready to go.