Even though the beginning of training camp is played without pads and the majority of practices aren’t fully live with tackling, injuries still happen. After Monday’s training camp practice, Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph spoke with the media about phasing formerly injured players back into drills.

With more serious injuries such as Jamaal Charles, who is coming of a second knee injury in as many seasons, Joseph is being careful. The same goes for center Matt Paradis and defensive end Adam Gotsis.

“The plan for [Gotsis, Paradis and Charles] after Tuesdays break is to get them more team reps – Gotsis, especially. Matt, we’re going to go slow, but probably give him two per period,” the first-year head coach explained. “Jamaal, we’re going to sprinkle him in seven-on-seven and keep him out of the team drills because we don’t want to get him tangled. We’re going to start him seven-on-seven, more ending, then add team probably in the next week.”

After rookie running back De’Angelo Henderson and tackle Donald Stephenson missed day at the end of last week, Joseph explained that he’d rather be safe with his injured players than rush them back into action.

“Stephenson is in the same boat as De’Angelo. Out one day, back tomorrow. Could have gone, but just being smart,” Joseph said on Sunday.

That approach paid dividends for Henderson, who looked sharp upon his return.

“[Henderson] obviously came back [Monday] and he flashed. He’s a quick, explosive, marks out runner. For a shorter, stockier guy, he can get narrow through holes. He’s quick through holes. As a defender, it’s hard to see the guy,” Joseph told the media.

What’s easy to see is that Joseph is putting a premium on protecting the health of his players early in camp.