Teddy Bridgewater did not finish the Broncos' Week 4 loss to the Ravens after suffering a concussion, and he did not open this week on the practice field, instead spending Wednesday in meeting rooms and weight rooms while following the NFL's concussion protocol. The veteran quarterback was back on the field Thursday, however, as a limited participant in practice. He cannot suit up for Sunday's Week 5 game against the Steelers until he's fully cleared from the protocol, but a return to practice suggests he's on the right track.

Coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that Bridgewater was permitted to watch film and join teammates in weightlifting and game-prep meetings but would not commit to the QB returning to practice. But Thursday's session indicates Bridgewater has since cleared at least one phase of the NFL's five-step concussion protocol, which permits "football-specific exercise" in phase three.

"He's getting better," Fangio said this week.

Friday's practice will go a long way in determining Bridgewater's availability for Sunday's game, for which he has yet to be ruled out. If he's unable to take the field, the Broncos will turn to former second-round pick Drew Lock against the Steelers. Lock started 13 games for Denver a year ago, posting a 4-9 record as the No. 1 before the Broncos acquired Bridgewater from the Panthers this offseason.