Sanders caught 11 of 13 targets for 98 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 16-14 loss to the Bears. He also caught a two-point conversion.
The veteran receiver was once again Joe Flacco's top option in the passing game, with no other Denver player catching more than five passes. Sanders is clearly fully recovered from last year's Achilles injury, and while he hasn't topped 1,000 yards in a season since 2016, the 32-year-old is well on his way to getting there again.
Sanders caught five of seven targets for 86 yards and one touchdown during Monday's 24-16 loss to Oakland.
In what was his first regular-season outing since rupturing his Achilles tendon in an early-December practice last year, Sanders emerged as the contest transitioned into crunch time. He didn't register his first catch -- a six-yard gain -- until the final two minutes of the first half, but erupted after the half-time whistle by hauling in four of his five targets for 80 yards and catching a touchdown that helped get Denver within one possession late in the fourth quarter. Now having demonstrated a rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco, Sanders rolls into a Week 2 matchup against a Bears defense that contained Davante Adams to 36 receiving yards in the season opener.
Sanders caught one of two targets for five yards and rushed once for 19 yards in Monday night's 24-15 preseason loss to the 49ers.
Sanders' first action since his Achilles injury in early December saw him haul in a pass on Denver's first offensive play. The wideout then went for a long run around the right end three plays later, displaying his usual shiftiness in the open field. In fact, Sanders also connected with quarterback Joe Flacco on a 45-yard bomb toward the end of the first quarter, but that reception was nullified by a holding penalty. Overall, Sanders looked good in his return to the field, building confidence in his stock ahead of the regular season.
Sanders (Achilles) is in line to play in Monday's preseason game against San Francisco, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports.
Renck also notes that the 32-year-old wide receiver appears poised for a big season, based on his heavy usage with the first-team offense in practice. Sanders confirmed Monday that he's on track to play Week 1 and doesn't expect to have a limited snap count at the beginning of the season. His rapid recovery from a torn Achilles and a minor ankle procedure is great news for the Denver offense, though Joe Flacco's presence under center hints at limited upside for the passing attack as a whole.
Sanders (Achilles) does not expect to be on a snap count Week 1, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports.
Sanders is progressing well in his recovery from an Achilles injury for which he underwent surgery Dec. 6 and appears on pace to be active Week 1 -- though we don't yet have a hint whether he'll realize his predictions of being fully recovered for the start of the regular season. Sanders would be heading in the right direction if he were to first participate in preseason action, so the veteran will likely target an Aug. 24 appearance. That date corresponds with the Broncos' preseason Week 3 contest, when veterans are typically most heavily featured prior to the regular season.
Sanders revealed Monday that he had a "tightrope" procedure on his right ankle in the offseason while he was recovering from surgery on a torn left Achilles, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.
Sanders initially injured the ankle on Oct. 15, 2017, missing four of the Broncos' final 11 games that season. The injury impacted him throughout the ensuing offseason, but it didn't stop him from racking up 71 catches (on 98 targets) for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 contests in 2018 before picking up the Achilles tear. Sanders seems to have taken the prudent approach by addressing the first issue while rehabbing the more serious one, and the results have been impressive by any metric. As evidence, the Broncos are confident he'll be able to suit up for the next preseason game Monday, Aug. 19 against the 49ers. If he does so and emerges without complications, Sanders would be on pace to achieve his prediction of active status for Week 1 -- as well as being healthier than he's been in years.
Coach Vic Fangio said he expects Sanders (Achilles) to make an appearance during the preseason, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports.
Despite undergoing surgery on a torn left Achilles on Dec. 6, Sanders has been bullish about his ability to be available Week 1. Clearly, any game action before then would back up his belief, but the Broncos also are unlikely to clear him for such activity if they're less confident in his ability to get through it unscathed. If he does get clearance, Sanders' best bet to take the field is preseason Week 3, when starting units around the league typically receive their most in-game reps before the regular season. For the Broncos, that contest is Saturday, Aug. 24 against the Rams in L.A.
The chemistry between Sanders (Achilles) and quarterback Joe Flacco is developing, Ryan Koenigsberg of BSN Denver reports.
Koenigsberg noted that Sanders was Flacco's first target of the 11-on-11 period Monday and was later part of an impressive string of plays on offense. Other reports have come in about Sanders moving all around the formation for the Broncos. If healthy, he's easily the Broncos' most dependable weapon in the passing game, and all reports are that his rehab from a torn Achilles tendon is going smoothly. He's worth drafting. The question is just how early given that he's 32 and just eight months removed from his injury.
Sanders (Achilles) participated in 11-on-11 drills during Monday's practice, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.
Sanders began participating in 7-on-7 drills last week and now takes another big step forward as he resumes 11-on-11 work. The veteran wideout appears on track to be cleared for full practice participation within the next few weeks and is making good time in his recovery from an Achilles tear. Sanders is targeting a Week 1 return versus the Raiders.
Sanders (Achilles) participated in 7-on-7 drills at Wednesday's practice, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Previously limited to individual drills at training camp, Sanders took a big step forward Wednesday with a handful of reps in 7-on-7s. He hopes to be cleared for full participation in two or three weeks, with an eye toward suiting up for Week 1 in Oakland. The 32-year-old is ahead of the typical rehab timeline for an Achilles tear, but it remains to be seen if he can regain his prior explosiveness.
Sanders (Achilles) was limited to individual drills Thursday but should be a full go in practice within two or three weeks, James Palmer of NFL Network reports.
Less than eight months removed from suffering an Achilles tear, Sanders looked comfortable running routes and quickly changing direction during Denver's first practice of training camp. Video clips from non-contact sessions don't prove he's regained his explosiveness, but it does at least appear he's on the right track toward playing Week 1. The 32-year-old is the only player on Denver's roster with an 800-yard receiving campaign to his name, with the team otherwise counting on Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick as well as tight ends Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman. The quality of Sanders' targets arguably is a bigger concern than the quantity, considering Joe Flacco fell shy of seven yards per pass attempt each of his final four seasons in Baltimore.
General manager John Elway said Wednesday that Sanders (Achilles) won't be placed on the Broncos' PUP list at the start of training camp, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports.
That said, because Sanders is bouncing back from December Achilles' surgery, he'll be "eased in" to practice over the next few weeks. Sanders previously acknowledged that would be the case, and while he won't be full-go out of the gate, there's still time for fantasy observers to gather intel on the 32-year-old's recovery prior to the heart of draft and auction season. The key point to monitor will be how much, if at all, Sanders' straight-line speed and explosiveness are impacted by his return from the injury.
Sanders (Achilles) expects to ease into training camp, Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post reports. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test [Wednesday]," Sanders said Tuesday. "As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."
Sanders has made impressive progress from a torn Achilles, which wiped out his ninth pro season Dec. 5. To date, he's been running full speed since early May, and on June 7 he progressed to route running that included sharp cuts. Even with that behind him, Sanders seems to be taking a logical approach in the later stages of his recovery, increasing his workload by the day until the Broncos' training staff clears him for all activity. There's no telling whether he'll be available Week 1, but the lack of established pass-catching options in this corps could help his cause once he's deemed ready for game action.
Sanders (Achilles) still believes it's realistic to play Week 1, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.
Despite acknowledging uncertainty about his participation in training camp, Sanders hasn't deviated from the primary goal. He's been running full speed since at least early May, and an Instagram post from June 7 shows the 32-year-old running routes that include sharp cuts. Sanders said he expects to perform at a Pro Bowl level once he's available, also noting that he wants to play three or four more seasons and eventually reach 10,000 career receiving yards (he has 7,024 so far). A lack of offseason additions at wide receiver hints at a similarly optimistic outlook from the Broncos' perspective, while history shows that most players suffer a considerable drop-off in the first year back from an Achilles tear. The timing of the injury late last season (Dec. 5) doesn't work in Sanders' favor.
Sanders (Achilles) said Tuesday that he isn't sure if he'll be ready for the start of training camp, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Sanders has been documenting his rehab progress on Instagram, recently posting a recent video that showed him cutting and running routes. Reports in March and April suggested the wideout was ahead of the typical recovery schedule for an Achilles tear, but Sanders framed things differently in early May, claiming to be neither ahead of schedule nor behind. While he still hopes to be ready for Week 1, the timing of his injury (Dec. 5, 2018) suggests he won't be the best version of himself even if that happens. The Broncos are counting on the 32-year-old to be productive at some point during the upcoming season, as they didn't address their wideout group during free agency or the draft.
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.
|3||9/22/19||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|5||10/6/19||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|8||10/27/19||@ IND||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/17/19||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|12||11/24/19||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|14||12/8/19||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|15||12/15/19||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|