ENGLEWOOD -- A spirited Broncos practice received a buzzkill Thursday as inside linebacker Todd Davis exited with a left calf injury.
While attempting to make a play late in the workout, Davis crumpled to the ground in pain. He limped off the field, exited on a cart and could not put weight on his leg as he entered the facility. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI, per a source. It's concerning for multiple reasons: he was enjoying a terrific preseason and calls the Broncos' defensive signals, and he missed six weeks last year -- all of camp and the first two regular season games -- with an identical injury.
Coach Vic Fangio was unaware of the extent of Davis' ailment, but it appears he will miss time.
"Injuries happen. I feel like Todd's having a great camp," said defensive stalwart Shelby Harris. "It sucks."
With Davis' anticipated absence, it moves Josey Jewell into the lineup and provides more reps for promising rookie Justin Strnad. Jewell lost his starting spot to Alexander Johnson last season, in part, because of issues in coverage.
Health took center stage Thursday. Von Miller (elbow) and Melvin Gordon (ribs) were held out midway through practice, and rookie receiver K.J. Hamler did not participate and will miss at least two weeks with a hamstring injury, according to Fangio. It is a concern for Hamler because his game centers on speed and explosiveness. Hamler also dealt with a hamstring issue after his college season, which left him unable to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
There were plenty of highlights on another sun-bleached morning. Trash talk littered the field as cornerback Isaac Yiadom jawed with Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. The receivers rented space in his head, and Yiadom, so peeved, kept chatting to the pair on the sideline when a play started, leading Yiadom to get pulled from the drill. Earlier, Phillip Lindsay continued jawing with Kareem Jackson, the soundtrack of the defense. As subtle as a sledgehammer, he reminded Jackson that the offense scored five times at point during the red zone work.
I asked Fangio of his opinion of the banter.
"There's nothing wrong with a little trash talk in practice," Fangio said. "When I was a DC, I was a pretty good trash talker myself. Now I have to tone it down."
Garett Bolles looked in the mirror this offseason, showing overdue self-awareness. He added 20 pounds -- he's roughly 305-310 -- and recognized that his career is at a crossroads in Denver after the team did not pick up his fifth-year rooking option. He is the most polarizing figure on the team among the fans. "It’s unacceptable for the way that I played. Nobody likes to get booed so I took that upon myself to get better. I know if I play my best I can be part of the future here." ...
Fangio wasn't taking the bait on who should top the depth chart at running back between Gordon and Lindsay. "I anticipate both playing enough where we really don’t have to designate a starter.” ...
Cornerback A.J. Bouye notched an interception for a second straight day. He's quietly lived up to expectations in his first camp with the Broncos. ...
Center Lloyd Cushenberry received significant time with the starters as he vies for the top job as a rookie. ...
Jerry Jeudy, as he his wont to do, produced the play of the day, snaring a 26-yard over-the-shoulder pass from Drew Lock near the end of practice. The Broncos are using Jeudy inside and outside, trying to find the best fit and maximize his ability.