DENVER – The split continues, in a manner of speaking.
Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn continued to divide second-team repetitions as the Broncos moved to Invesco Field for a scrimmage Saturday. And while Quinn completed both of his passes with the second unit and went on to lead the third team to a touchdown, Tebow’s afternoon was one to forget: one drive that ended in a sack and another in a turnover on downs.
Tebow was sacked three times and completed just one of three passes for 15 yards. One of the incompletions was knocked down at the line of scrimmage; the other saw Tebow overthrow Julius Thomas, even though the rookie tight end was wide open in the right flat.
“There were a few plays I’d like back,” admitted Tebow, specifically citing those two snaps. Tebow’s only completion was for 15 yards; only rookie Adam Weber’s brief work (0-of-2, one interception) was shakier.
Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn fared far better. Orton led the first team against the No. 2 defense and completed four of seven passes for 83 yards — 40 of which were picked up by Knowshon Moreno after he caught a screen pass and weaved his way through the second-team defense.
Quinn went 7-of-8 for 77 yards and a one-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Virgil Green, yet it must be noted that all but two of his passes were at the expense of the No. 3 defense.
“I think they all made some progress,” Broncos coach John Fox said. I think probably Tim had the roughest duty going against the first-team defense, and that’s tough, but he’s a tough guy, and he made things happen.
“We’ll just keep evaluating them. This was just a small taste of that.”
But for the 17,982 who watched Saturday, that small taste was the meal — at least for now.
INJURY REPORT: Running back Mario Fannin was placed on the waived/injured list after injuring his knee during a 9-on-7 drill in Friday’s practice. The Broncos claimed running back C.J. Gable off waivers from the New Orleans Saints to take his place …
… Fox said the Broncos emerged with little more than “a couple of little strains” from the scrimmage.
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Linebacker D.J. Williams (thigh), wide receiver Eron Riley (shoulder), defensive tackles Mitch Unrein (knee) and Louis Leonard (knee) did not practice, but were on the sideline …
… Some of the Broncos’ recent arrivals to practice did not take part in the scrimmage. That group included defensive tackle Ty Warren, defensive end Derrick Harvey, running back Willis McGahee and safety Brian Dawkins.
“Yes, they aren’t ready for (live contact) yet,” Fox said. “We’re Just being smart and keeping them healthy for Sept. 12.”
The newcomers and recent free-agent signees that did take part included tight ends Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario, defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas, linebacker Wesley Woodyard and placekicker Matt Prater.
Running back LenDale White was in full pads, but didn’t take part in the scrimmage; he’s dealt with lower back spasms the past week after overcoming a torn Achilles tendon to be ready for training camp.
“I think he’s close. Our medical people make that decision,” Fox said. “I don’t have ‘Dr.’ in front of my name, so when they clear him, he’ll be out there.”
WHO’S WHERE: With Dawkins sitting out, Quinton Carter returned to the first team, giving the Broncos a rookie first-unit safety tandem of Carter and Rahim Moore …
… Bunkley continued to work with the first unit at nose tackle …
… Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd were the two receivers that lined up with the offense in its base package. Eric Decker was the third receiver in the lineup. Lloyd and Royal each had one reception — for 10 and 19 yards, respectively, but Decker went without a catch after failing to get both feet in-bounds on a potential touchdown reception. Decker also had a potential 19-yard reception to the defense’s 10-yard-line fall astray when he was met by cornerback Nate Jones and linebacker Deron Mayo …
… Knowshon Moreno was the first running back up, followed by Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson and Brandon Minor …
… Daniel Fells opened as the tight end with the first unit, but when it went into a two-tight end package, rookie Julius Thomas joined him.
WEATHER REPORT: The seats in the shade filled up first Saturday, as fans took whatever steps they could to avoid spending time in temperatures that rose from 92 to 94 degrees during the session.
NEXT PRACTICE: Monday afternoon at Dove Valley at 2:20 p.m. MDT. This will be the Broncos’ last afternoon practice before the preseason opener at Dallas next Thursday; their open sessions Tuesday and Wednesday take place at 8:50 a.m. each day.