Day 2 of Broncos camp was highlighted by impressive performances from multiple young receivers, but overshadowed by a injury. Sixth-year receiver Kyle Williams suffered an Achilles injury during a punt return session. It was a non-contact injury.
It's unfortunate for Williams, who has battled through shoulder and ACL injuries throughout his career. He was fighting for a roster spot as a receiver/return this summer.
Times like these, a persons mindset can either make, or break the entire process. Embracing it accordingly. Time to move on and recover. ✊— Kyle Williams (@KyleWilliams_10) August 1, 2015
Aside of Williams' injury, Saturday was a good day for Denver's young receivers.
It was another hot, sunny day at the UCHealth Training Center. There were 3,412 fans in attendance.
More on today's morning session below:
Omar Bolden first on field, walks over to fan section and sits down with fans. Signing memorabilia.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
Attendance and injury report
Williams is expected to miss the 2015 season after Saturday's injury.
Guard Louis Vasquez returned after missing Friday's afternoon walkthrough with an illness.
Rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman (ACL), defensive end Antonio Smith (funeral), and offensive tackle Connor Rains (foot) did not practice today. Kubiak informed the media on Friday that Smith would be absent today.
Defensive end Malik Jackson came out without a helmet on and worked with a trainer. He was later given his helmet but did not participate in practice. Receiver Demaryius Thomas was limited again. Kubiak has said that Thomas will be eased back into things. Linebackers Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan were limited again, spending most of practice with the team's trainers.
Defensive lineman Marvin Austin Jr. left practice early because of the heat, Kubiak said after practice. Austin left the field with a trainer about 20 minutes early with a towel on his head.
Running back Jeremy Stewart was pulled from practice early because of a tight hamstring, Kubiak said. He and Austin should both be fine going forward.
Peyton Manning's arm looked sharp. Brock Osweiler threw a few low passes and had some broken up. He missed a wide open Jordan Norwood streaking down the field in 7-on-7 drills, choosing to tuck and run. But he did make a few nice throws, squeezing one in tight coverage against Joe Don Duncan shortly after tossing a beautiful deep pass to Jordan Taylor (who has been turning heads).
Osweiler just had a beautiful pass to Jordan Taylor in 7-on-7.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
Zac Dysert held the ball a few times probably longer than he should have, opting to run when he could not find an open receiver. He seemed a bit panicked at times when one of his first looks was not open. Trevor Siemian has a really nice arm, but he makes many rookie mistakes. He tossed an interception in 7-on-7 drills.
Offensive line report
Ryan Harris spent some time at left tackle today, as did Chris Clark with the second-team offense. Kubiak has said that the team will move offensive lineman around throughout camp. Rookie tackle Ty Sambrailo had a much better showing today. He handled DeMarcus Ware better today and looked good run blocking. Guard Ben Garland also looked good against the run. Fellow guard Louis Vasquez is on a different level than his peers on the line — his powerful jabs and footwork stood out during position drills. Center Gino Gradkowski did not catch my attention, which is not necessarily a bad thing (no poor snaps to my knowledge).
Sambrailo did pretty well run blocking in 11-on-11 session.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
As noted above, Sambrailo looked better today. His blocking against Ware on running plays was effective, and he was not burned by pass-rushers as he was on Day 1.
Tight end Owen Daniels could quietly become a big part of Denver's offense. His route running is smooth and Manning checked down to him numerous times during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Here's some way too early fantasy football advice: draft Daniels.
I think Daniels is going to be PM's buddy this year.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
With Thomas being eased back into things, Cody Latimer has shined. Today he beat Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris on more than one occasion. During 7-on-7 drills, Latimer made a diving, one-handed catch against Harris, igniting big cheers from the fans in attendance. Later, Manning tossed a deep pass over a leaping DB (safety Darian Stewart, I believe) for a nice completion to Latimer.
Latimer just had a one-handed, diving catch against Harris. Fans go crazy.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
Taylor was also impressive. He had a sick one-handed catch and ran a great post route during 7-on-7 drills that turned into a completion from Osweiler. Jordan Norwood also had a nice showing today. He caught a pass over Tony Carter during 7-on-7 drills and later burned Bradley Roby down the sideline (Osweiler did not see him).
Rookie outside linebacker Shane Ray is in a tough spot. Already at a disadvantage to earn playing time with Ware and Von Miller in front of him, Ray has struggled to make plays against the second-team offense. He was handled pretty well by second-year tackle Michael Schofield, and struggled to get past tight end Dominique Jones when pass rushing. But Ray has plenty of time to improve with 16 more days of practice still to go.
I noticed that . . .
Marvin Austin Jr. is listed as a nose tackle on the team's roster, but he's lined up at defensive end a few times over the first two days. Denver's defensive lineup without Wolfe may end up including Austin and Malik Jackson at defensive end with Sylvester Williams at nose. Update: I mistook Vance Walker for Austin during the early days of camp.
Austin also spent time at nose with the second team. When Austin moved to nose, Kenny Anunike took his spot at defensive end.
Speaking of Sly, he had a good day. Kubiak said after practice that Williams really stood out to him in one-on-one drills. That's a good sign because Denver's 3-4 unit could struggle mightily without an effective nose.
Kubiak said he was impressed by Sly Williams in individual drills.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
Marshall and Trevathan participating in 7-on-7 drills today, but Todd Davis and Steven Johnson filled in again during 11-on-11 sessions. Marshall said after practice that he expects to be back to normal in a week or so. Kubiak said on Friday that Marshall and Trevathan are at about the same spot health-wise
Just about all of the young receivers practiced catching punts today and Emmanuel Sanders joined them. Cornerback Omar Bolden was back there, too. Kyle Williams was injured during a punting session.
Rookie Karl Schmitz need about two punts to get warmed up, apparently. After kicking two for around 40 yards, Schmitz booted two over 50 yards. Britton Colquitt did not punt today.
Colquitt held for Connor Barth, who went 2-of-3 on field goals. Schmitz held for Brandon McManus, who went 3-of-3. Schmitz did not attempt any field goals.
Receiver Emmanuel Sanders is thriving in his slot role. His blazing speed makes him nearly impossible to cover in man-to-man on crossing routes.
Manning to Sanders over the middle. Too easy.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 1, 2015
Running back Juwan Thompson has proved to be a solid receiving option out of the backfield for Denver's young quarterbacks. He caught a few passes in the flats throughout the course of practice. Kapri Bibbs also showed some nice hands today.
Fullback/tight end Joe Don Duncan spent some time long-snapping yesterday and looked good both as a blocker and receiving option in practice today. The versatile rookie appears to be taking second-team fullback snaps behind James Casey and fourth-team tight end snaps behind Daniels, Virgil Green, and Jones.
"He's helping me with the little things," Latimer said of Thomas coaching him up.
Check back later today for more photos, videos, and stories on Day 2.