After an offseason and training camp that saw the Broncos lose, at least temporarily, some key members from their defensive front seven, one of those injured players has returned to football activities.

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was back on the field Tuesday after missing all of training camp and the team’s first two preseason games with a hip injury suffered during a private workout.

Barrett met with the media following Tuesday’s practice to give an update on his injury, his timetable for return and his mindset throughout the process. Here’s what Barrett had to say, in his words, with quotes courtesy of Broncos Media Relations.

On returning to the practice field

“It’s fun. I’m happy to be back out here. I was in treatment every day, getting better. I got tired of treatment. I feel as though, when it was time for me to be able to play, I was ready to come out here and play and try to help contribute to the team.”

On the overall feelings of practice today

“They kind of eased me in today. They limited everything that I did today. I appreciate them for that. If I can do more, I will do more. I’m ready to get back going as soon as possible, but they want to be smart with me and I want to be smart so I don’t re-injure myself.”

On when he feels like he’ll be ready to play in a game

“The goal is [regular] season opener. I wanted to try to play in some preseason, but I don’t think it’s going to happen because I just need time to practice and get everything going again because it’s been a while since I’ve been out here. I want to try to be ready for season opener.”

On whether he thought his injury was season ending

“From the first diagnosis, yes. They said a month or two to the whole year because of surgery. I instantly thought and hoped just a month or two. Then I went up Vail and visited (Sports Medicine/Hip Disorders, Hip Arthroscopy Marc J. Philippon) Dr. Philippon and he helped me out a lot. He guided me into the right direction without surgery and it ended up working out.”

On his injury

“I tore it (hip ligament). I was doing some workouts back in Omaha when I was working out and I landed with my leg straight and then my femur jammed up into my hip.”

On how serious he thought the hip injury was

“I knew something happened, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I called the trainers right away and told them because after 20 minutes, it cooled off, and I was in a little bit of pain.”

On the treatment Dr. Philippon offered

“He did a lot. He said the worst case scenario would have been an October return.”

On the injuries the team faced on the defense

“It was tough because everyone contributes to this defense. We need everybody and we have depth. Our depth was being tested this preseason and training camp. We’re happy to have the guys that we do have to step up, but we definitely miss those guys.”