The injury bug is no respecter of persons. It will strike anyone and at any time.
The Denver Broncos have been hit rather hard by injuries just over the last week or so of camp. Last Sunday, rookie fifth-round linebacker Justin Strnad suffered a wrist injury during a spirited, fully-padded practice and will miss the rest of the season needing surgery.
The Broncos also lost starting linebacker Todd Davis to a calf injury, though not for the season, as well as rookie third-round cornerback Michael Ojemudia to a quad. Rookie second-round wideout KJ Hamler will continue to miss the foreseeable future with a severe hamstring injury.
On Friday, following the 11th practice of training camp, head coach Vic Fangio provided an update on the Broncos' walking wounded.
“Ojemudia, he’s getting better," Fangio said on Friday. "Obviously, he’s still not practicing yet, but he is l getting better. Todd’s getting better—not practicing yet, but it’s nowhere near the calf injury he had last year. He is getting better. I think we’ll see him out there sooner rather than later. Sooner doesn’t mean tomorrow, but I think he’s getting better.”
Fangio is referring to the calf injury Davis suffered on Day 1 of camp last year that cost him all of the summer and preseason, plus the first two regular-season games. This calf injury is on the other leg and not as severe.
To bolster the depth at linebacker in the wake of the injuries to Strnad and Davis, the Broncos are visiting with free-agent Mark Barron — a former first-round pick who converted from safety to linebacker early in his career.
Other Broncos who missed Tuesday's practice but returned on Friday includes wide receiver Tim Patrick, nose tackle Mike Purcell, and cornerback De'Vante Bausby. Second-year wideout Juwann Winfree, who's been dealing with a nagging groin injury, worked with trainers off to the side of Friday's practice, along with Ojemudia.
The Broncos are rolling with the injury bug punches. In what was something of a scare on Friday, sensational first-round rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy seemed to get shaken up following one play. However, Coach Fangio said that Jeudy is "okay" and that whatever befell him, it wasn't severe enough to miss time or warrant even a report from his training staff.
Later on Saturday, the Broncos will hold a scrimmage practice at Empower Field at Mile High. Fangio and his staff will seek to make it as game-like as possible and practice many different game situations.
The stadium session will be broadcast by 9NEWS on KTVD-20 (Comcast Channel 5 and Xfinity Channel 657) from 7-9 p.m. This will amount to the best look at how the Broncos are shaping up fans will get this summer with there being no preseason games.
We don't yet know whether Winfree or Ojemudia will be able to go on Saturday evening. Davis and Hamler will definitely miss the stadium session.