Denver Broncos  

 

Broncos' Decker up and running, should be ready for camp

  • By Associated Press
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Rookie wide receiver Eric Decker said Tuesday that he's on schedule to join the Denver Broncos for the start of training camp, provided he signs a contract by then.

Decker, a third-round draft pick out of the University of Minnesota, is participating in Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's star-studded camp at the Golden Gophers' campus this week, running routes, catching passes and doing drills.

Those are things Decker hadn't been able to do since he injured his left foot during an October game against Ohio State. Decker suffered a Lisfranc injury, a tear of the ligament that holds the first two toes in place.

Lisfranc sprains involve a long, arduous rehabilitation with no guarantees of recovery, and the Broncos have taken it easy with Decker so far, hoping he'll be a full-go when camp starts. Rookies report July 26, and the first full-squad workout is July 29.

Decker, who has spent time at Broncos headquarters doing individual drills, is a bundle of emotions before heading into his first NFL training camp.

"Oh, yeah. I didn't get a chance to practice in OTAs (organized team activities) and minicamp," he said. "I'm a little nervous and I'm anxious because I'm back to football, I'm back playing, I'm done in the training room and that's exciting to me."

Asked if he was healthy, Decker replied: "Yeah. It's still a day-to-day thing, and the training staff is helping me to move along and progress at a very good rate. I feel comfortable every day, so that's the best I can say."

The wide receiver competition could be the best at Denver's training camp.

The Broncos traded Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins and selected Demaryius Thomas in the first round of the draft, then grabbed Decker with the 87th overall pick.

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Before he was hurt, Decker was considered among the top receivers in the country and many scouts projected him as a first-round pick. Decker showed his smarts at the NFL Scouting Combine by scoring a 43 on the 12-minute, 50-question Wonderlic test that's used to gauge aptitude.

After his injury, Decker received a call from Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who suffered the same ligament injury in 2002 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. Stokley had loads of advice for Decker.

Decker said he was fortunate to play alongside Stokley and called the chance to work out at Fitzgerald's camp this week a godsend.

"Especially being in my backyard, you can't miss this opportunity. Having Michael Irvin, Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Green, great quarterbacks," Decker said. "Everybody is working hard together for a common goal and that's to be the best you can be going into training camp."

And this week will prepare for the grind, Decker said.

The Broncos also waived free-agent wide receivers Dicky Lyons and Landis Williams on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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