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Broncos' OLB Randy Gregory Updates Timeline to Return to Field of Play

Fresh off the PUP list, when can Broncos fans expect to see Randy Gregory in action?

Hot on the heels of the Denver Broncos' morale-boosting preseason win over the Dallas Cowboys, Monday's roster moves gave a distinct feeling that things are coming together quite nicely.

Amongst the feel-good vibes was the news that high-profile offseason addition Randy Gregory was activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Throwing Gregory into the pass-rushing mix gives head coach Nathaniel Hackett an embarrassment of riches to work with this season.

Hackett can thank Broncos GM George Paton for handling Gregory's signing with kid gloves because the surgical procedure to repair a nagging shoulder injury, and a knee was always on deck and could have torpedoed any potential deal.

The former Cowboys star touched base with the media on Monday to affirm his timetable to be on the field for the Broncos come Week 1.

“That’s the plan," Gregory said. "Today is a big step going out there and doing individual. At the end of the day, the plan is to be ready for Week 1.”

Gregory also explained how prioritizing his health was his first focus, but he never felt it could nix contract talks with the Broncos.

“I wouldn’t say ‘blow up.’ With any injury, you want to handle it the right way," Gregory said of his injury and contract negotiations. "Like I said, I’ve been playing with it for so long [that] I kind of wanted to fight through it, but for the long-term, I think it was for the better for me and for the team, Dealing with the knee scope made it kind of hard initially getting started. My body—I think I tend to repair very well. I was just trying to stay in the best shape I could so I could get out here on the practice field and be ready to go.”

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Now that Gregory's body is fully repaired for the first time in a couple of seasons, he can attack the quarterback while firing on all cylinders. Exactly how the Broncos' defense can max out Gregory's athletic skill set and create overload pressure on opposing quarterbacks could be a massive key to their success.

“Definitely. Pre-surgery, there were a lot of things that I couldn’t do that normally [everyone] should be able to do,” The 29-year-old conceded. “Going out there and playing on it like that has been kind of tough. I’m a fighter and tried to fight through it, but it got to a point where I had to really take care of that. The mobility aspect of it and the range of motion has probably been the biggest thing.”

Hackett is all too aware that having Gregory in the pass rushing rotation could make teams struggle to find the appropriate answers in pass protection. Gregory often jumps out on tape, as Hackett can attest to, especially after sifting through footage of the Cowboys ahead of their match-up and seeing his new defensive weapon frequently disrupting plays.

“It was funny. We were watching—when we started game planning a little bit for Dallas, we put a game on just because we wanted to watch and make sure we knew what they were going to be presenting us," Hackett said. "The whole time, it was funny. We’re all looking at each other going, ‘Oh, we’re really happy that guy on our team.’ He’s a dynamic guy. He’s got an unbelievable motor. He is nonstop all throughout the play. He’s physical, he’s fast, he’s a smart player. I think all those things that he brings are so great for our football team and watching him rush the edge is going to be something I’m excited to see.”

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.

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