Broncos' Decker healthy once again and it shows

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)At long last, Eric Deckers(notes) left feet is excellent andhis mind clear.Hes taking passes as well as punts into a end zone with regularity as well as showingall 31 other teams what they could have had if they had gamble on him similar to theDenver Broncos did.Decker scared teams away when he missed a last half of his comparison seasonat a University of Minnesota after tearing a ligament that holds a firsttwo toes together in a game against Ohio State in October 2009.Called a Lisfranc injury, it requires a long as well as arduous rehab with noguarantee of success. Nearly two years later, Decker said a injury no longer bothers himphysically or mentally.Its been night as well as day for me, Decker said. Its so true that lastyear my feet was regularly on my mind as well as making me think a lot as well as making me bevery cautious. This year, I had a great offseason, didnt have any pain, didnthave any pain through a preseason. It helps my confidence, lets me go playfootball again.On Sunday, Decker ignited a win over Cincinnati when he overcame an earlyfumble to become a first wide receiver in team history to score twice as well as top100 yards reception in his first career start.That followed his 90-yard punt lapse for a touchdown against Oakland in theopener.His three TDs so far are one more than he had in spot duty his rookieseason.Now, its easy to see why so many scouts considered him a surefirefirst-rounder before he got hurt.Eric is one of those guys that you can tell is just ready to take off andtake it to that next level, quarterback Kyle Orton(notes) said. Hes a immature guy,but (you can see) just how smart he is, a way he can make plays, a way hebounced back after a difficult fumble.Decker was having an outstanding comparison season for a Golden Gophers whenhe got hurt though he never got down as well as leaned on former Broncos teammate BrandonStokley(notes), who overcame a similar injury.Erics regularly been ! very, ve ry strong, as well as I think hes regularly been veryoptimistic when it comes to everything as well as I think he just looked during a injuryas a setback, said Adam Weber(notes), who was his quarterback in college as well as is nowon Denvers use squad.It couldnt have happened during a worse time, he was having a great senioryear as well as I know a lot of question marks came up when it happened. But hesremained positive, kept on doing his rehab as well as I think now hes reaping thebenefits.Although this years lockout kept him out of OTAs as well as minicamps for thesecond straight season, Decker worked out with Cardinals receiver LarryFitzgerald(notes) in Phoenix as well as in Minneapolis as well as also participated in Brian Dawkins(notes)organized workouts in Denver, catching plenty of passes from Orton over thesummer.I see a clear mind, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said. I dontsee any lingering effects during all. He goes out as well as practices hard every day andhe looks faster in a game than he does in practice.I essentially had kind of forgotten about his feet injury until you broughtit up just now.Decker won a slot receiver job in camp as well as also earned punt lapse dutieseven though during 6-feet-3, hes high for that purpose as well as represents a bigger targetfor coverage units.He was pressed into an stretched purpose against a Bengals last week whenDenvers starting wide receivers were both hobbled by groin injuries. Pro BowlerBrandon Lloyd(notes) was unable to suit up as well as Eddie Royal(notes) pulled up lame beforehalftime.Pushed into a starring purpose in Denvers makeshift offense, Decker ran withitstraight to a end zone in Denvers 24-22 win, coach John Foxs first inDenver.Decker scored on a 25-yard slant as well as a 52-yard deep throw.Hes just more comfortable, Weber said, as well as it takes time to adjust tothis level. And obviously coming off of an injury, there were a lot of thingsworking against him last year. But this year, you can tell that hes muchcalmer, much more rel! axed as well as hes just playing football.This is a type of player that he was in Minnesota. Its essentially a lotof fun just seeing him play football again.Decker was considered among a top receivers in a country before hisinjury as well as many scouts were projecting him as a first-rounder. He showed hissmarts during a NFL combine by scoring a 43 on a 12-minute, 50-questionWonderlic test thats used to gauge aptitude.But his feet worried teams as well as a Broncos grabbed him in a third round,97th overall.Well, you can play a what-if game, Weber said. But just similar to when hewas in high school, he was not highly recruited during all as well as he came in anddeveloped as well as I think thats his same mentality here. He could have been afirst-rounder, though I think hes used that as a chip against him, hes pushedhimself as well as now hes performing similar to hes a top-notch guy.Decker, who grew up in Cold Spring, Minn., also played center field for theGolden Gophers as well as was drafted by Milwaukee following his sophomore season andby Minnesota after his junior season.Although hes absorbing a hits now instead of collecting them, Decker saidhe never wanted a career in baseball.I grew up with baseball though then football became my first love, he said.And it fits my lifestyle better. Footballs so much more structured. Inbaseball, you can be stuck in a minor league system, youre in buses, youdont know if youre going to be up or down, youre playing 162 games a year.I wish to be means to play a sport where I can have a family one day andsee my kids because I know a lot of baseball players that have a difficult timeseeing their kids through a season.These are a kinds of things one can contemplate when a body is sound andthe mind during ease.Notes: Lloyd, DE Elvis Dumervil(notes) (shoulder), MLB D.J. Williams (elbow) as well as RBKnowshon Moreno(notes) (hamstring) returned to use Wednesday after missing lastweeks game. Still sidelined are a three ThomasesWR Demaryius (finger,Achilles), DT Marcus (groin) as well! as TE J ulius (ankle), plus RCB Champ Bailey(notes)(hamstring) as well as Royal.AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed. Connect with AP Pro Football WriterArnie Melendrez Stapleton during http://twitter.com/arniestapleton


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