Broncos’ Henry gets scare
ENGLEWOOD ” The Denver Broncos had a bit of a scare Saturday when Travis Henry had to sit out most of the morning drills.
The running back took a sharp hit to his hip, stretched out and came back for three plays, before retiring to the sideline for the rest of the morning. It was one of many hits laid on by the Broncos defense that has many of the offensive players in street clothes during the early part of training camp.
Twelve Broncos were on the sidelines Saturday because of injuries.
Henry, a free agent signed in March, was banged up Friday with the hip problem, but finished out the day. He wasn’t as fortunate Saturday.
“I had a little hip pointer yesterday,” Henry said. “I kind of re-aggravated it today but I’m cool. I nicked it up again and didn’t feel like I could go the way I wanted today.”
Henry stretched out and went back into the scrimmage for a couple of plays before going to the sidelines. He said he’ll get it treated and should be ready for practice Monday.
Coach Mike Shanahan is taking a careful approach with his starting running back.
“They thought it was a little bit smart to keep him out,” Shanahan said. “They were afraid he was a little bit tight, so he should be ready to go.”
Henry is the unquestioned starter at running back after spending his past two seasons in Tennessee. The former Pro-Bowler ran for 1,211 yards and seven touchdowns last season in a Titans uniform.
“I got stretched and went out to see if I could go,” Henry said. “I could have finished if this was a game, but I want to be ready and at full strength when the seasons come. I didn’t feel like I had the explosiveness I wanted.”
With Henry out of commission, Mike Bell took a majority of snaps with the first team offense Saturday. Bell, who has taken a number of big hits all week, is battling Cecil Sapp for the backup job. He was the Broncos starting running back coming out of training camp last year.
Saturday, the final day of practice for the week, the wide receiving corps was especially thin because of injuries. Rod Smith and Brandon Marshall ” neither of whom has seen the field during camp ” were joined on the sidelines by wide receivers Brandon Stokley (thigh), Glenn Martinez (thigh), and Marquay McDaniel (hamstring).
Shanahan said linebacker Warrick Holdman, who had to be carted off the field Thursday following a spinal cord concussion, was still feeling numbness in the left side of his body Saturday. He had no timetable for the former Redskins’ return.
“Until that numbness goes away, he’s not going to practice,” Shanahan said. “He thinks he’s going to practice Monday. I want to wait for the doctors to look at him. We’ll wait and see.”
Shanahan said Sunday’s day off couldn’t have come at a better time with so many players ailing.
“Any time you go for a week, it is nice to get a chance to have the body recover,” he said. “Even though they are sore and worn out, when you throw as much as we have thrown at them in one week’s time, it’s tough.”
FERGILICOUS: Safety Nick Ferguson is back in the Denver Broncos secondary and said he feels as good as he ever has.
Ferguson missed the final six games of last season after a left knee injury forced him on injured-reserve for the remainder of the year.
Now he’s back in camp healthy and excited about the potential in the Broncos’ secondary.
“I heard they missed me a lot,” Ferguson said. “You hope someone comes in and turns the tables. But it’s great to have a guy like Dre’ (Bly) in here. We can do some damage.”
Ferguson will team with Bly, Champ Bailey and John Lynch in the defensive backfield. After beginning his career as an undrafted free agent on special teams, Ferguson has been a mainstay with the Broncos the past four seasons.
“We missed him when he went down,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “You miss a leader like him any time a guy like Nick goes out. Nick is a motivational guy.
“It’s great playing here as a safety and with John Lynch,” Ferguson said. “People sometimes say some negative things about John and myself, but we just put that on the backburner and go out and do our jobs.”
GO GET ‘EM!: Coach Mike Shanahan wasted no time in throwing the entire playbook at his team during the opening week of training camp.
He wants them to be ready to go as soon as possible.
That’s meant newcomers like backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey and some of the rookies have had to learn on the job quickly.
“We throw the whole playbook at them this week and we run the whole playbook,” Shanahan said. “There are a lot of mistakes, the timing is not perfect, but we get a chance to evaluate these players both physically and mentally and see what guys step up.”
Ramsey, signed as a free agent in March after a year with the New York Jets, has progressed each day as he learns more of the playbook.
He was the only quarterback to avoid throwing an interception Saturday, a day when the defense seemed to outshine the offense.
EXTRA POINTS: The 3,089 fans in attendance Saturday was the largest crowd to watch a Broncos training camp since the team changed sites in 2003…The offense struggled against the defense most of the day, but a trick play ” a hand-off to RB Cecil Sapp who tossed the ball over-the-top to TE Nate Jackson ” brought the most noise from the crowd and netted the Broncos’ offense one of their only touchdowns of the morning. … OG Ben Hamilton missed Saturday’s practice with a mild concussion he suffered Friday.