Did not practice: LB Todd Davis (calf, eighth consecutive missed practice), WR River Cracraft (oblique, sixth), TE Jake Butt (knee, fifth), WR DeaSean Hamilton (hamstring, second), RG Ron Leary (day off), RT Ja’Wuan James (lower leg, first), TE Bug Howard (ankle, first), OLB Dekoda Watson (lower leg, first) and OL Jake Rodgers (calf, first).
James has a lower leg bruise, according to coach Vic Fangio. “At this point, (it’s) nothing to be worried about.”
Of Howard, Fangio said: “He’ll be out a little while so you probably don’t have to ask me about him for a couple of weeks.”
Leary is expected to practice Saturday.
The offense’s best day of camp was highlighted by QB Joe Flacco’s long pass (at least 40 yards) that WR Courtland Sutton made a diving catch on. Sutton got a step on CB Alijah Holder during a post route.
The offense. They showed a pulse. “I thought it was a little better operation than it has been, which is good to see,” coach Vic Fangio said. “Hopefully when I go in and look at (the video), it’s good play by them and not crappy play by the defense. Hopefully it’s good play by both sides and the (offense) is winning.”
WR Nick Williams. Signed before practice, Williams worked with every quarterback and had two catches in 11-on-11 work.
S Will Parks. He looks comfortable playing at any part of the field in this defense and is consistently around the football.
Receiver attrition. At least Courtland Sutton hasn’t missed any time during camp. The Broncos have had to sign three receivers since camp opened.
CB/PR Horace Richardson. During a live punting drill (no returns, though), he dropped his first attempted catch.
Odds and ends
The Broncos ran 75 snaps of 11-on-11 and 31 snaps of 7-on-7.
Quarterback snaps (11-on-11): Joe Flacco 35, Kevin Hogan 19, Drew Lock 18 and Brett Rypien three. Quarterback snaps (7-on-7): Flacco 12, Hogan seven, Lock seven and Rypien five.
Late in practice, coach Vic Fangio quickly gathered the players to tell them the final goal-line period would be “live” except for the quarterback. That led to a spirited segment of rushes and passes.
ILB Josey Jewell on the “live” period: “You’re going full bore every practice rep you have, but down there, it’s the nitty gritty and you can’t give them an inch. It was fun to try to get after it.”
Jewell and LT Garett Bolles began chirping at each other Thursday and it continued at least twice Friday, including the opening play of 11-on-11 when Jewell ran over Bolles. “I think he was mad the rest of the day that I got him knocked over,” Jewell said with a smirk. “He likes to give a little extra every once in a while so everybody likes to find him every once in a while, too.”
Because RG Ron Leary had the day off and RT Ja’Wuan James (lower leg) was held out, Jake Brendel played in Leary’s spot and Eljiah Wilkinson in James’ spot.
Red zone 7-on-7: Touchdown catches by TE Jeff Heuerman, TE Noah Fant, WR Juwann Winfree and TE Austin Fort.
Flacco started the second 11-on-11 period with a 5-for-5 passing segment, including the diving catch by WR Courtland Sutton and a sliding catch by Winfree on an in-breaking route. It was against the No. 2 defense.
The Broncos ran a two-minute drill. Flacco completed six of his eight passes to get into field goal position, but Hogan, after throwing twice to Winfree, threw three consecutive incompletions in his territory to end the drive.
The quarterbacks combined to complete 13 consecutive passes during the second 7-on-7 period.
NFL referee Walt Anderson and some of his crew visited the Broncos this week, including a presentation for the team on Thursday night. “I love having these guys here,” Fangio said. “Walt and his guys are good to work with. Walt’s been a very experienced official and one of the better referees in the league. I would like to have them here every day.”
The coach’s challenge for pass interference will debut in the Broncos-Atlanta game on Thursday. “We do play the first game this season next Thursday,” Fangio said. “I’m going to throw the first challenge flag for OPI or DPI.”
Fangio added of the interference challenge (except in the final two minutes, when it’s a booth review): “The use of challenges may even go down because nobody wants to get caught late in the fourth quarter when they’ve been hosed on a call or no-call to be out of them (timeouts or challenges),” he said.
Fangio said he has re-started only one period of practice during camp. “One time I was with a coach who in an early period, besides just starting the period over because it was sloppy, he started the whole practice over,” he said. “Back to stretch and individual. Maybe I’ll do that one day.” Asked if that coach was Jim Mora, Fangio said: “How’d you guess?”
C Connor McGovern semi-recovered from Thursday’s bad shotgun snapping practice but there were two hiccups — one resulted in an aborted play and on the other, Flacco picked up the snap and threw a completion. “We have to keep practicing because we could have nine other offensive players having the best down of their lives and if we can’t get the snap, it’s wasted,” Fangio said. “That’s both (center) and quarterback. I thought it was a little better (Friday) compared to (Thursday) where we had an epidemic of them. (Friday), we had a few of them, but we can’t have any.”
The Broncos made a roster move before practice, signing WR Nick Williams and waiving DL Deyon Sizer. Williams (5-foot-10, 184 pounds) has 30 catches for 280 yards (two touchdowns) and also has experience returning kicks (20.9-yard average in 2013) and punts (11.8-yard average on four returns last year) for Tennessee (two games) and the Los Angeles Rams (one game). Sizer was an undrafted free agent from CSU-Pueblo who grew up in Aurora. Just since the start of training camp last week, the Broncos have signed WRs Steven Dunbar, Jamarius Way and Williams.
Former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, along with his two kids, attended their second practice of the week.
2:15-4:15 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High (open to fans).
Admission is free but mobile tickets are required to attend. Those are available through Ticketmaster. All seating is general admission and fans must enter through Gates 4, 8 and 10. Pre-purchase parking is $10. Parking lots open at 10:15 a.m. and the stadium gates at 12:15 p.m.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a decent crowd,” Fangio said. “It will be good for the young guys, especially the guys who have been at small (colleges) and they haven’t seen a crowd or stadium that big. Hopefully it will help them for next Thursday (vs. Atlanta) and the rest of the preseason.”