Broncos D-lineman Adam Gotsis undergoes knee surgery
- Rodgers downplays take on cutting Nelson
- DE Ansah signs franchise tag with Lions
- 7-time Pro Bowl C Mangold retires
- LB Miller defends shark hunting trip
- Jackson: Browns still unsure on top pick
By ARNIE STAPLETON
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) One of the Denver Broncos' biggest offseason stars, Adam Gotsis, missed the final day of mandatory minicamp Thursday to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Coach Vance Joseph said he expects the rising second-year defensive lineman to be back by the first week of training camp, which begins July 27.
"It's a really minor thing. It's a scope," Joseph said. "It's probably an injury that if it had happened in the regular season he'd probably play in a couple of weeks. But we're going to take our time with this because we've got five weeks to get him healed up and get him ready for camp."
The coaching staff and GM John Elway have heaped praise on Gotsis this offseason following a rookie campaign that was hampered by his recovery from a torn left ACL while at Georgia Tech.
Just Wednesday, defensive coordinator Joe Woods said Gotsis looked like an entirely different player .
"They say it takes you a year to get back to yourself coming off of an ACL injury. Last year when he came in, he was coming off that ACL and I don't feel like he had the opportunity to train physically in the offseason and get prepared for his rookie season," Woods said. "When you look at him now, he looks like a new person. I watch him through drills. He has great athleticism for his size and he's built like a superhero."
Joseph said the latest injury popped up recently but he couldn't say exactly when Gotsis got hurt.
"It was bothering him for about four days. He kept going on it," Joseph said. "It was just soreness. He went to the doc yesterday and there was a little something floating in there. So we fixed it immediately."
The Broncos will face several crucial decisions during camp, topped by who will be their quarterback, Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch . Joseph said this week that all the work up to this point was about learning and the true evaluation will come in camp.
For all the magnificent plays and mistakes both QBs made during OTAs and minicamp, they're even heading into training camp.
"Both guys did some good things; both guys did some off things," Joseph said. "It was really equal."
Another big question is what Jamaal Charles has left in him as he attempts a comeback following two injury-marred seasons that led to his release from the Chiefs.
In addition to Gotsis, whom Elway selected in the second round last year, several other players made big jumps this offseason that they'll try to parlay into bigger roles in 2017.
-Second-year safety Justin Simmons has shown he doesn't need to leap over linemen and block kicks to show off his athleticism. Simmons picked off Lynch's pass in the end zone this week, jumping high to snare the ball and touching both big toes inbounds in what was easily the best play of the offseason.
Simmons' biggest play as a rookie was leaping the line to block an extra point in New Orleans with fellow 2016 draftee Will Parks scooping up the ball and returning it for a 2-point play in a 25-23 win.
The league recently outlawed that leap in the name of safety.
-Third-year O-lineman Ty Sambrailo was finally able to hit the weights after two injury-filled seasons and is in the mix at left tackle should first-round pick Garett Bolles slip. Even if he doesn't start, a stronger, healthy Sambrailo would be a good swing backup in Jeff Davidson's refurbished line that includes newcomers Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson on the right side, a nasty duo that should open holes for Denver's rejuvenated ground game.
-Sixth-year linebacker Brandon Marshall had a terrific offseason as he bounces back from yet another injury-marred season. If he stays healthy, Marshall rejoins the Broncos' long list of defensive playmakers. With beefier linemen in front of him, Marshall and Todd Davis will be free to show off their skills even more.
-Wide receivers Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor all had their share of big plays during minicamp this week, but at least one of them figures to be the odd man out if Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders stay healthy and rookies Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie make the roster.
"We added more speed," Joseph said. "We added a guy in Isaiah who can do a bunch of different things for us on the offensive side. When you draft guys that have a shot, it does naturally motivate guys. It should."
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
Updated June 15, 2017