On the second play from scrimmage Sunday, Cowboys tight end Noah Brown motioned across the line and put Broncos linebacker Von Miller in his sights.
Brown hit Miller up high at the initial point of contact, but then appeared to drop his body toward Miller’s knee, knocking the stationary linebacker to the ground as nearby Broncos wrapped up a tackle of Ezekiel Elliott.
Miller on Thursday gave his reaction to the hit, which he described as “just baffling.”
“My stance as a player, I’ve always tried to take care of my players on my football team and my opponents as well, whether it’s the quarterback, receivers, running backs,” Miller said. “So when it’s the other way around, it’s just baffling. But you can’t really spend too much time on it. Everybody’s situation in the National Football League is different. Everybody doesn’t have the same outlook I have and that my other comrades in the National Football League (have). Everybody doesn’t see it that way. Everybody doesn’t play the game like I play the game, and you have to respect that.”
Miller was listed as limited at practice with a knee injury Wednesday, but he was a full participant Thursday. The other Broncos who were limited Wednesday — tight end Jeff Heuerman (shoulder), safety Darian Stewart (groin) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) — also returned to full participation Thursday.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “You’re going to have to fight through some injuries. Everybody’s gonna have to fight through them.”
“Blade of grass” mentality. “Sudden change” hasn’t been kind to Broncos this season, despite their 2-0 start.
Denver has turned the ball over four times and their opponents have scored touchdowns following each of those takeaways. Opponents began each of the post-turnover drives in Denver territory, but Broncos coaches and players said that’s no excuse.
“We have to make sure when we go on the field that we’re mentally ready,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. “We know we’re going to be in a situation where they’re in scoring range. That’s what happened to us those first two games. I told those guys we have to have a blade-of-grass mentality. As long as there is a blade of grass (between the opponent and the end zone) and we’re on defense, we have to stop them.”
Woods said his unit has to be aware that offenses will be in attack mode once they take over in scoring territory. For example, Philip Rivers threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin on the first play after the Chargers recovered a Jamaal Charles fumble in the fourth quarter of the season opener.
“The sudden change is something we have to work on,” Miller said. “It’s not a speech or a chant that can get it done. It’s just got to be a collective agreement amongst everybody on defense, ‘Let’s go out here and stop them. Let’s go out here and do our job.’”
Injury report. Cornerback Bradley Roby returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s workout with an ankle injury.
Wide receiver Bennie Fowler (concussion) and cornerback Brendan Langley (knee) did not practice.