Shaquil Barrett hoping to be ready by season opener

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 13: Shaquil Barrett
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 13: Shaquil Barrett /

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett returned to practice on Tuesday, and was already in midseason form. He’s hoping to be ready on Sept. 11th…

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was moved from the NFI (non-football injury) list on Wednesday and placed him on the active roster. It didn’t take long for Barrett to start making an impact during practice…

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We all know what Barrett is capable of. As a local collegiate star who played at Colorado State (and dominated), it was astounding that no NFL team used a draft selection on the former Mountain West defensive player of the year.

Barrett was dominant his senior season for the Rams, and was added as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos in 2014. Somehow, some way, the Broncos were able to waive Barrett after a strong preseason, adding him to their practice squad later.

Barrett has since proven a very productive backup as an edge defender in their defensive scheme, and would be a starter on most teams. He suffered a hip injury this offseason that looked season-ending at first.

"“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.”Shaquil Barrett (quotes via Broncos PR)"

So what’s next for Barrett? Will he be ready for the season opener?

That’s the plan.

After what initially appeared to be a season-ending injury, a return for the season opener is more than good news for Barrett and for the Broncos. Barrett is an extremely valuable piece of the Broncos’ defensive core, and he’s on a very team-friendly contract through 2018. He’ll be a restricted free agent next offseason, and more than a bargain for the type of production the Broncos are getting out of him.

He plays at a very high level whenever the Broncos call his number, whether it’s as a pass rusher, run defender, or special teamer. This kid can ball, and his absence this offseason has most definitely been noticeable.

Just ask Garett Bolles, whom he planted in the ground today.