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Fowler, Heuerman injuries spurred changes in rookie camps - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Fowler, Heuerman injuries spurred changes in rookie camps

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -

Hands on and lots of hand-offs? No longer.
    
The Denver Broncos' upcoming rookie minicamp reflects a change in the way many teams handle the draft class introduction into the NFL.
    
"We're going to have a rookie orientation, and it's not going to be all football," coach Vance Joseph said. "It's going to be more helping guys get acclimated to the NFL. More meetings, some lifting and some running, but not a full-scale team practice."
    
The Broncos are among several teams that have changed the way they handle rookie minicamps in the two years since two prized picks sustained season-ending knee injuries less than a week after all the hugs and handshakes of draft night.
    
Locker rooms, fan bases and front offices alike were jolted when defensive end Dante Fowler Jr ., the third overall pick in 2015, blew out his left knee on the first day of Jacksonville's rookie minicamp. Twenty-four hours later, tight end Jeff Heuerman , Denver's third-round selection, tore his left ACL covering a kickoff.
    
Both were practicing under standard injury protection waivers and received the same contracts they would have had they not gotten hurt, but their pro careers haven't been what they or their employers envisioned.

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