Practice Notes: Orton Excused; Haggan Returns

Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd started practice on the field, but was quickly pulled per a "team decision." (PHOTO: MAXDENVER.COM)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn took first-team repetitions Thursday. Of course, it was because Kyle Orton had to sprint from practice midway through for personal reasons, but that won’t stop someone, somewhere from making a bigger deal of it than it needs to be.

The two backups split the first-team work in much the same manner as they had divided second-team snaps this week, with Tebow up first and Quinn following him. Both started off with some skittish throws, but eventually made some big plays, with Tebow bursting forward for a 20-yard run and Quinn finding Eddie Royal up the right sideline for a deep reception.

“We struggled for a minute, but then once we settled in, we did all right,” Broncos coach John Fox said.

“It was a little adjustment there after Kyle left, but it’s a ‘next man up’ approach, and whether it’s for personal or any other reasons, when you’re second, third or fourth on the depth chart, you’re one, two or three plays away from being the guy, so you’ve always got to be prepared for that.”

Befitting that philosophy, Tebow and Quinn had to work without Brandon Lloyd at their disposal. Lloyd was on the field as practice began, but was pulled per a “team decision,” Fox said.

HAGGAN RETURNS: After missing the last three days with a shoulder injury suffered in the second half last Saturday, Mario Haggan was back on the field, working with the second team at strongside linebacker.

“He’s easing back into it,” Fox said. ” It’ll be a game-time decision on whether he plays this week, but the fact that he got to practice was a step in the right direction.”

Safety David Bruton wasn’t back on the field, but he was on the sideline Thursday. Bruton suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter against Buffalo Saturday and hasn’t practiced since. He was hospitalized overnight after the game and released the next morning.

“When he’s cleared medically, he’ll be back out there,” Fox said. “At this point, that’s not yet the case, but he’s recovering nicely.”

SITTING OUT PRACTICE once again were defensive tackles Ty Warren (triceps) and Marcus Thomas (pectoral muscle) and wide receivers Jamel Hamler (lower back) and Demaryius Thomas (Achilles tendon).

INSERT FOOTBALL, BREAK GLASS: An errant pass, a broken windshield.  Given that nothing separates the Broncos’ practice field from the players’ parking lot, it’s amazing that more cars haven’t been damaged by flying footballs like the one that Orton threw Thursday morning.

The damaged glass belonged to Willis McGahee.  The running back strolled over a few minutes later, examined the light damage to his Porsche and proclaimed that he needed a new car, anyway.

“I was getting ready to blame the media, because they were all standing over there,” Fox said. “You would have thought somebody could have stuck their hand up or something like that.

“You’d have thought with 20 people over there we might have been able to block the ball.”

Perhaps, but there’s a reason writers write: we weren’t very good players.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.

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