The only positive of RG Chris Kuper's gruesome leg injury against the Chiefs last New Year's Day was its timing -- Week 17. Kuper missed both playoff games, but the Broncos might not have sniffed the postseason in the first place without the steadiness that their most experienced starting OL provided.
Nearly seven months later, Kuper finally returned to full duty, taking some of the first-team repetitions at RG during Saturday's practice, the Broncos' first in full pads this summer.
Broncos coach John Fox limited Kuper's work. During the team periods, he would go in for three plays and then come out of the lineup.
Manuel Ramirez filled in for Kuper; he took all of the first-team snaps at right guard this offseason during Kuper's rehab.
Kuper looked smooth, and he helped execute a nice counter play for running back Willis McGahee, who went around the pulling right side of the line for a long gallop on the first play of a team period. But Kuper isn't yet ready for a full workload.
"We're going to take it slow with him and just gradually work him back into it," offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. "He'll probably tell you he wants to do more, but I'm not in charge of that. We just want to make sure he's ready come the (regular-season) opener."