Sanders (Achilles) said Tuesday that his rehab is neither ahead of schedule nor behind, Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post reports. "When I do run full speed, I feel good," Sanders said. "I wouldn't say we're ahead of schedule, I wouldn't say we're behind schedule. I just feel like we're somewhere in between." Sanders is now six months deep in the rehab process and ran with cleats Friday for the first time since suffering a torn Achilles on Dec. 5. Early reports of the 32-year-old wideout being ahead of schedule seem to have been overstated, as Sanders acknowledged Tuesday he isn't sure about his availability for training camp. The timing and severity of his injury suggest he'll struggle to be ready for Week 1, at which point he'll be nine months removed from the initial injury. Sanders is entering the final season of a three-year contract, with $1.5 million guaranteed on a $10.15 million base salary. The Broncos seem committed to waiting out his rehab, as they could have avoided the $1.5 million charge by releasing him in February or March. The team didn't make any prominent additions to its wideout corps during the offseason, instead focusing on quarterbacks (Joe Flacco, second-round pick Drew Lock) and a tight end (first-round pick Noah Fant).
Sanders (Achilles) ran with cleats Friday for the first time since he was injured, James Palmer of NFL Network reports. The 32-year-old wideout reportedly is making good progress in his rehab from the torn Achilles he suffered Dec. 5. The timing of the injury leaves him uncertain to be ready for Week 1, though the Broncos seem to be counting on his availability given their lack of high-profile offseason additions at wide receiver. Any plans to move on from Sanders likely would've taken place back in March before $1.5 million of his $10.15 million base salary became guaranteed. The quarterback situation in Denver doesn't look much better than last season, with Joe Flacco and rookie second-round pick Drew Lock replacing Case Keenum.
Coach Vic Fangio said Sanders is "progressing well" in his rehab from a torn left Achilles, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports. Sanders suffered the injury during practice Dec. 5 and underwent surgery shortly thereafter. Differing reports have noted a 6-to-8-month recovery and his own confidence that he'll be ready by Week 1, which both seem optimistic due to the timeline for a typical player from such a procedure. On a positive note, though, Sanders attended one of the first offseason workouts and took part in warmups, so the 32-year-old appears to be in a good spot, health-wise. No matter when he gains clearance to play, he's on pace to act as one of Joe Flacco's primary options in the passing attack.
The Broncos have exercised their contract option on Sanders (Achilles), guaranteeing $1.5 million of his $10.15 million base salary for 2019, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. General manager John Elway announced the decision a couple weeks ago, apparently encouraged by Sanders' initial progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles. The veteran wideout relayed optimism Sunday on his Twitter account, noting that trainers have told him he's far ahead of schedule. Sanders suffered the injury during practice Dec. 5 and will celebrate his 32nd birthday this upcoming weekend. The Broncos clearly expect Sanders to operate as a primary target for new starting quarterback Joe Flacco, though the wideout's age and the timing of his injury do create some level of concern.
Sanders relayed via his personal Twitter account Sunday that trainers have told him he's "wayyy (sic) ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a torn Achilles. Sanders suffered the devastating injury during practice Dec. 5. Despite missing the final four games of the campaign, he paced the Broncos in every receiving category, with 71 catches (on 98 targets) for 868 yards and four touchdowns to his credit. Sanders is due a roster bonus of $1.5 million Tuesday, so his immediate future will receive some clarity in the coming days. Once the Broncos' front office makes that decision, he'll continue to focus on his rehab with the stated aim of being ready for the 2019 regular-season opener, when he'd be working with new quarterback Joe Flacco.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||@Green Bay Packers||26||24.75|
|5||10/06||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|7||10/18||Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|13||12/01||Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|15||12/15||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||111||66||818||4||39||12.39||106|