The quad injury that kept Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders out of the team's Week 2 preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, and off the practice field for the past week, seems to be subsiding.
And maybe a friendly push from Peyton Manning helped him along.
"I know Peyton was happy for me to be out here," Sander said Thursday. "He texted me last night and told me that he would like me to be out here today practicing and catching balls, so it was fun."
Sanders, one of the Broncos' prized free agent signings this offseason, was back on the practice field Thursday for the first time since Denver's first preseason game August 7th, and he made his return a triumphant one. Sanders enjoyed a "stellar day" with Peyton Manning, and the two reportedly connected on multiple touchdowns.
"The quad injury feels good. Felt really good today," said Sanders.
Sanders indicated he is optimistic that he will play Saturday against the Texans in Denver's third preseason game -- and Broncos fans are hopeful he will get his first gametime target in orange and blue.
"It’s looking good right now," said Sanders. "Hopefully I’ll be playing on Saturday, but I’m not going to give it 100 percent right now. I’m going to go talk to the trainers, and we’re going to take it day by day."
Broncos injury report
The Broncos' injury report was as lengthy as it's been all of training camp. Jordan Norwood (knee) is expected to be placed on Injured Reserve, although Coach John Fox indicated the Broncos haven't made a roster move with Norwood yet. Linebacker Danny Trevathan (leg) is out through a few weeks of the regular season.
Defensive end Chase Vaughn (knee), tight end Gerell Robinson (knee and ankle), linebacker Jamar Chaney (hamstring), cornerback Kayvon Webster (ankle), tight end Virgil Green (calf), and tight end Jameson Konz (neck) round out the injury report for the Broncos from Coach Fox. Some are day-to-day, but the fact that they missed practice means they're all questionable for Saturday.
Running back Montee Ball (appendectomy) returned to team drills this week, but we doubt he suits up Saturday, even after this tweet. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has been cleared to practice fully, but the soonest he suits up in a game is likely Week One of the regular season.
Wide receiver Wes Welker has been excused from practice for personal reasons, and Coach Fox said it isn't a sure-thing he'll be playing Saturday. "We need to get him back and see what state of mind he's in and where he is in our game plan and just go from there."
Linebacker Von Miller said he might play this weekend, but he's not pushing it. "I feel like I can play, but they (the Broncos trainers) have given me great advice up to this point so I am just going to keep following those guys."
Texans injury report
Rookie pass rusher extraordinaire Jadeveon Clowney is questionable for Saturday after being held out of practice Thursday, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. Clowney left the Broncos' and Texans' joint practices on Wednesday after a helmet-to-helmet hit. There have been no other details as to what is ailing him.
Although running back Arian Foster, receiver Andre Johnson and inside linebacker Brian Cushing each had "their most productive week of practice," O'Brien said the team is undecided if these players will be making their preseason debuts Saturday. The same goes for cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who's been limited in practice.
The Broncos and Texans are set to square off at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m. MDT.