Deonte Thompson was regarded as one of Baltimore's sleepers at receiver for the 2013 season.
He's the fastest player at any position on the roster and is a fluid route runner. His ability to work as an inside receiver in Jim Caldwell's offense was intriguing to the coaching staff, with the preseason providing valuable reps for the second-year product out of Florida.
Then Thompson sprained his foot in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay. He's been out since and missed last week's opener.
It's unclear if Thompson will be able to play this week as he missed Wednesday's practice. But the youngster said his recovery is on the right track.
"We've come miles away," Thompson said. "I'm doing a little running now, doing ladder drills. I felt all right, got a little sore but [I'm] definitely getting there."
With Jones out, the Broncos were able to load the box, stop the run and blitz Joe Flacco in last week's 49-27 loss. Thompson could fill that role, considering his speed could keep defenses honest, given that Baltimore didn't have that kind of threat once Jones left last week's game.
When there are two deep threats on the field at the same time, safeties are kept honest and linebackers have to be cognizant of underneath routes. When there's just one, it's easier for defensive coordinators to call various blitzes.
Thompson believes he can make an impact once he's able to step back on the football field. After having a standout offseason, it's been hard for Thompson to become a spectator for the past month.
"The toughest part is sitting out and watching," Thompson said. "Knowing you could be a contributor and you're just watching, that's the toughest part."
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