ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Denver Broncos defensive end Vance Walker is expected to miss the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee Monday.
Walker was carted off after getting tangled with guard Max Garcia on the second play of 9-on-7 drills during the Broncos' practice Monday morning. Walker could not put any weight on the leg.
''We think the world of Vance and he was having a great camp,'' head coach Gary Kubiak said in a statement. ''We'll support him through his recovery, and he'll come back stronger than ever.''
Walker was listed as one of the starting defensive ends on the team's depth chart. He was expected to step into the starting role after Malik Jackson signed with Jacksonville in the offseason.
Walker played in 15 regular-season games and all three playoff games for the Broncos last year. He had 33 tackles during the season and five more in the playoffs.
Rookie Adam Gostis, Lars Koht and Billy Winn could get some long looks at defensive end with Walker out.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. got into a small fight on the sidelines. Sanders appeared to beat Harris on a go route before Harris drew a pass interference flag trying to contain the receiver. The play spilled onto the sidelines, and both helmets were ripped off during the scuffle. No punches were thrown.
Sanders and Harris didn't take any more reps during the drill, but Kubiak said neither was thrown out of practice.
''They're just tired of going at each other but we've got to keep our composure,'' Kubiak said. ''Guys are going to get upset battling each other but there's things they won't let you do on the field so we can't do those in practice, either.''
Later, Sanders went across the field and shook hands with Harris and cornerback Aqib Talib.
Sanders and Harris declined to talk to reporters.
Sanders had a good day before the fight. He got behind Talib on a sideline route and caught a touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian. A few plays later Siemian connected with Jordan Norwood on a similar play against free safety Antonio Glover.
Siemian had a strong day in his battle with Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback role. That is the biggest question Kubiak needs to answer, but there could be some clarity when the Broncos start joint practices with San Francisco on Wednesday that finish with a preseason game Saturday night.
''This week is a big week for this team,'' Kubiak said. ''You're getting to the point where you've got to start to answer those things.''
Notes: Fans greeted Gary Kubiak by singing ''Happy Birthday'' at the start of Monday's practice. Kubiak is 55. ... S Ryan Murphy and CB Taurean Nixon were at practice but not participating. ... The Wounded Warriors project was at practice Monday. Broncos players and coaches greeted the group and took pictures before heading into the locker room.
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