Emmanuel Sanders considers Week 1 return 'realistic'

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Emmanuel Sanders won't put himself on a timetable, but the Denver Broncos receiver is eyeing being ready for the start of the regular season.

Sanders told Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic on Monday that being ready for Week 1 "feels realistic," but won't put a concrete timetable on his recovery from an Achilles injury.

The 32-year-old receiver popped his Achilles on Dec. 5. Sanders posted a video in early June running routes, a good sign for the pace of his rehab.

The Broncos are likely to ease their No. 1 receiver back into things slowly when training camp opens on July 17, and we might not see Sanders at all during the preseason.

Sanders being ready Week 1 would be a big boon for quarterback Joe Flacco. Last season, the Broncos offense struggled without the veteran receiver. With a new offense, a new QB, a revamped O-line and rising young receivers in Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, the hope is Denver could withstand an abbreviated absence if Sanders misses the start of the season or isn't prepared for a full workload in the opener.

Once he is fully healthy, Sanders told Jhabvala he projects another Pro Bowl season.

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