As the Denver Broncos begin preparing for the third and most important preseason game against the Washington Redskins on Friday night, there is still doubt surrounding Su’a Cravens availability.
Cravens seems to be close to returning to the practice field, but is unclear if he’ll come back in time to participate in any preseason game action.
Head Coach Vance Joseph noted on Monday that there has been no real setbacks since last week and that the team is just being very cautious with his knee.
“He’s actually getting better,” Joseph said after practice on Monday. “We’re being smart with him. He had a setback about a week ago, but he’s actually getting better after this weekend. We’ll see. His next step is to get back to the practice field before he plays in games. We’ll see. It’s getting better.”
Through the first two preseason games, the Broncos defense continued to be gashed by running backs and tight ends in the secondary. The team is literally counting on Cravens being the answer to that problem all season long, which should be a concern at this point.
In fact, Joseph even alluded to the fact that they still need to see him in live game action in order to truly know what they have in Cravens heading into the regular season.
“I would say yes,” Joseph said when asked if he needs to see Cravens play in a preseason game. “He’s a guy that joined us in the spring. He hasn’t been with us. The position he plays is the dime backer spot. It’s a critical for us, so absolutely he has to play eventually so we can see what we’ve got in him.”
As Mike Tanier noted in our Q&A with Football Outsiders on Monday, the Broncos defense ranked 31st in the NFL covering tight ends. If that doesn’t change, teams will have a blue print to consistently get points on the board in games.
It would be good for Cravens to get back in time to at least get a dress rehearsal for the regular season that starts in just over two weeks time.
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