Phase 2 of the Broncos offseason workouts are slated to begin today, and with it should bring 1st round pick Shane Ray back to the field. Though Ray is still nursing a toe injury he suffered in Missouri's bowl game, the team expects him to be able to participate in some of the workouts. Ray was limited to rookie minicamp participation only until Missouri had it's graduation ceremony.
Shane and the Broncos opted to re-hab the turf-toe like injury rather than have surgery. After seeing 3rd round pick Jeff Heuerman go down for the season to a torn ACL, expect Ray to be brought up to speed slowly and carefully. At the moment, Ray will start behind DeMarcus Ware at the WILL position on the outside. Coupled with Von Miller and Lerentee McCray (among others) at the opposite SAM position will give the Broncos quite a bit of flexibility at the rush position.
Phase 2 of the offseason workout program allows positional work with coaches. There will be no 11-on-11's or work between the offense and defense until Phase 3.
For Ray, the key is finding the balance between wanting to compete, and listening to his body. "Me as a competitor, of course I would like to be out here and competing and doing what I can, but this is something I have to be smart with and take the proper direction under the medical staff."
Shane figures to be one of the few rookies that can have an impact in 2015. His pass rush ability will earn him some immediate playing time as a sub behind Ware and Miller. Beyond his role as a sub, Ray can also be used in special blitz packages when Wade Phillips wants to bring the heat.
H/T to Jeff Legwold from ESPN for the Ray quote and information
Phase 3 Offseason workouts: May 27th
Mandatory Minicamp: June 9th-11th
Training Camp: July 31st (estimate by Andrew Mason)