Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon isn’t ready to announce his Week 1 punt returner, but he knows who it probably won’t be: Rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy.
On Sunday, Jeudy and receivers Diontae Spencer and Trinity Benson took turns catching punts (mostly fair catches).
“Right now, we’re just trying to get (Jeudy) to catch the (punt),” McMahon said. “He didn’t catch them at Alabama. He would, in my opinion, be more of an emergency guy. He does catch the ball well but he hasn’t caught one amongst the traffic or returned one before he got here.”
McMahon won’t have the benefit of preseason games to decide on a kick/punt returner for the Sept. 14 opener against Tennessee.
“Everything will have to come off practice reps,” he said. “We’re trying to simulate full cover (drills), which you really don’t do a lot of in (camp) because you rely on the preseason games.”
Receiver KJ Hamler was in the mix on returns until he was sidelined by a hamstring injury. Spencer is the incumbent. Acquired via waivers from Pittsburgh after last year’s preseason, he returned 26 punts for an 8.0-yard average and 15 kickoffs for a 29.1-yard average.
“I’m going to get the best returner back there we can,” McMahon said. “If somebody beats Spence out, they deserve to be back there; if Spence beats everybody out, he deserves to be back there.”
Shurmur on offense. Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur met with reporters for the first time since the start of training camp.
Shurmur made a good point in nothing Sunday was the Broncos’ eighth practice together and how that usually occurs in the spring. For example, the Broncos’ eighth full-squad practice last year was an organized team activity on May 30.
“We’re working hard,” Shurmur said. “I feel good about how all our players embraced the Zoom portion of the year and feel good about their attention to detail and their ability to learn. There are always mistakes in practice, but I rarely see the same mistake twice, which is good.”
Shurmur said quarterback Drew Lock is “getting better,” with the “details and tactics of things.”
Vic ticked. Coach Vic Fangio halted practice during 11-on-11 work when guard Patrick Morris tangled with defensive lineman McTelvin Agim, who took several moments to get to his feet.
“We threw a guy down late in the down, which is bad to do –for two reasons: One, it’s a penalty and two, we don’t throw each other down like that,” Fangio said.
As Agim was being attended to by trainers, defensive end Shelby Harris made a bee line for Morris, yelling at him and shoving him. Fangio removed Morris from the rest of the team period, but both he and Agim returned to practice.
Injury report. Fangio said rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia is out “probably at least a week, maybe past that,” with a quadriceps injury.
Running back Melvin Gordon (ribs) remains day to day and has missed two practices.
“Could be out there (Monday), could not,” Fangio said.
WR White signed. To provide receiver depth while Hamler (hamstring) and Juwann Winfree (groin) work their way back, the Broncos signed Cody White after Sunday’s practice.
White visited the Broncos for a workout Friday and is the 80th player on the roster.
White (6-foot-3/215 pounds) played at Michigan State and declared for this spring’s draft, but was not selected. In 35 games (26 starts) for the Spartans, he caught 143 passes for 1,967 yards and 12 touchdowns.