Did not practice: Physically unable to perform list — OLB Randy Gregory (shoulder) and RT Billy Turner (knee). Did not practice — S Caden Sterns (hip), S Kareem Jackson (rest), OLB Christopher Allen (foot), OL Tom Compton (back), CB K’Waun Williams (knee), WR Tyrie Cleveland (throat), DL D.J. Jones (back) and WR Kendall Hinton (knee).
Jackson received the first veteran day off of camp and coach Nathaniel Hackett hopes Sterns (hip injection) is back for Saturday’s practice.
Hackett said Cleveland sustained cartilage damage in his throat, and “it’s a little bit unique. He’ll be fine and he’ll be back but because of the uniqueness of it, we want to make sure he’s good.”
Compton has missed all eight practices, Williams four practices, Cleveland and Jones three apiece, Hinton two, while Sterns, Jackson and Allen have all missed one.
S J.R. Reed (undisclosed) was unable to finish practice and S P.J. Locke had his left leg looked at by trainers but walked off the field.
WR Courtland Sutton showed off his jump-ball skills on a fourth-and-4 in the two-minute drill, leaping over CB Ronald Darby to snag a deep ball from QB Russell Wilson down the sideline.
“That was pretty cool,” Hackett said. “We had something we wanted to get to, but a little miscommunication and a different play happened and sometimes, that’s how great plays happen. Courtland ran a beautiful route, Russ did a great job, we had great protection up front and got the explosive (play).”
Two-minute offense. Wilson completed 4 of 6 passes during his first two-minute drill, including the fourth-down hookup with Sutton. A touchdown to WR Trey Quinn capped the first two-minute series near the end of practice.
DE DeShawn Williams. Williams had two likely sacks in the first four snaps of 11-on-11 work, although the second might have been debatable since Wilson scrambled and completed a pass on the play.
K Brandon McManus. He made all nine of his field-goal attempts, including one that appeared to be well beyond 60 yards.
Safety depth. Already without Kareem Jackson (rest) and Caden Sterns (hip), the Broncos saw J.R. Reed and P.J. Locke injured during practice.
False starts. The first-team offense had a pair of false starts in 11-on-11 work.
Odds and ends
*Before practice, the Broncos signed WR Darrius Shepherd to take Tim Patrick’s roster spot. Shepherd worked for the team on Wednesday and has 14 games of NFL experience (six catches for 46 yards), all with Green Bay in 2019-20 when Hackett was the Packers’ offensive coordinator. Shepherd, 26, spent last year’s preseason with Kansas City and spent time during the regular season on the practice squads for Arizona, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
Shepherd made a big play in first his opportunity, catching a downfield pass from QB Josh Johnson.
“It’s not a bad start to get adjusted being with the guys and them seeing what I can do,” Shepherd said. “It was cool to get here and make a play on the first day.”
Said Hackett of Shepherd’s big catch: “It’s an opportunity for the receiver to stop or go and my man ‘Shep’ decided he was going.”
This spring, Shepherd caught 27 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown for New Jersey of the USFL.
“It was really beneficial,” he said of playing in the USFL. “I’m really happy they put that league on. They did a great job in providing a lot of opportunities for guys and you’re seeing guys get signed all over the league.”
*Rookie TE Greg Dulcich, working back into practice, caught a red zone touchdown pass from Wilson.
“The play Russell made was awesome and the defense is going to think they sacked him, but they definitely didn’t sack him,” Hackett said. “(Dulcich) understands the play-book because he has been spending so much mental time and then (the touchdown) was him making a natural play.”
*The first-team offensive line remained unchanged at the start of 11-on-11 drills: LT Garett Bolles, LG Dalton Risner, C Lloyd Cushenberry, RG Quinn Meinerz and RT Calvin Anderson. The second-team O-line: LT Quinn Bailey, LG Luke Wattenberg, C Graham Glasgow, RG Netane Muti, RT Zack Johnson.
*Wilson had three touchdown passes over seven snaps at the start of red zone work, while backup QB Josh Johnson threw back-to-back scoring passes on his first two throws in the red zone. Johnson’s two-minute drill started off promising with two straight completions, but it ended with a pass break-up by CB Ja’Quan McMillian.
*QB Brett Rypien threw an interception on his first pass in 11-on-11, but he also had a touchdown pass to WR Travis Fulgham on his first pass during red zone work.
Practice at 10 a.m. (parking lot opens at 8 a.m. and gates at 9 a.m.).