Sanders, who tore the Achilles on Dec. 5, was the first player introduced to the Mile High crowd Monday night, and Joe Flacco wasted no time getting his top target into the action. Sanders caught Denver's first pass of the night for a five-yard gain. Two plays later Sanders took an end-around pitch, sprinting for 19 yards to set up an opening-drive field goal.
"It's up there, it's up there,'' Sanders said, via ESPN. "To be able to come back and feel how I feel and feel better, still be able to hang out with these 24-year-old kids and still be able to run with them, it's amazing. I don't take anything for granted.''
Sanders looked his best on a play that won't show up in your box score. The 32-year-old used his route-running acumen and speed he still possesses despite the latest Achilles tear to get past the defense and haul in a 45-yard heave from Flacco up the left sideline. The play was wiped out by a holding penalty, but for Sanders' part, it showed that he still has spring in his step and could return unhindered.
"It was great to see him out there the last few days getting after it, and now to get him some live reps in the game is a positive,'' Flacco said. "Getting him going [Monday] was definitely huge for our offense.''
Seeing Sanders run and cut Monday night portends positively for a Broncos offense that continues to find itself with Flacco under center. If Flacco holds up and the offensive line improves (said for the bajillionth year in a row), Denver has the weapons in the passing game (when everyone is healthy) and running game to be an interesting mix in 2019.