Broncos' Shane Ray still aiming for early-season return

Denver Broncos pass rusher Shane Ray tore a ligament in his hand in July. The third-year pro's recovery is going as planned.

"Everything's healing fine," Ray said Friday from a charity event, via the team's official website. "The doctor says my hand's healing well. My stitches, when they came out, my scars looked good. So I'm just excited, man. This process -- I look at it as they gave me four extra weeks to train, so I'm just going to keep looking at it like that, keep working and get ready for the season."

This is the first update we got on the Broncos' starter since he went down during camp.

Ray noted he can return to the weight room and gear up for a return to the field now that his stitches have been removed.

"That's a great step for me to be able to actually work out and sweat and do something else," Ray said. "So I'm getting on my cardio, trying to find ways to get in the weight room so I can lift. So it's all coming together. Like I said, it's unfortunate, but when I do come back, I'll be more than prepared."

The 2015 first-round pick said he's on target in his recovery and should be ready early in the regular season. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported at the time of the injury that the hope was Ray could return by Week 2 or Week 3 at the latest.

The 24-year-old pass rusher brings relentlessness off the edge, a perfect complement to Von Miller. The Broncos won't rush Ray back, but if he only misses a game or two, it shouldn't hurt a stout Denver defense much.

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