Waiting hard part for Smith, Carter

DENVER -- Two of the Denver Broncos players most anxious to go about the business of Saturday's scrimmage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High are safety Quinton Carter and defensive end Quanterus Smith.

Carter has missed the last two seasons with knee troubles, an arduous road back from an injury in 2012 that has included microfracture surgery while Smith spent his rookie year in 2013 on injured reserve.

"I just take it day-by-day, but I'm glad to back on the field," Carter said. "I just want to make the most of it."

Carter last played a game on Sept. 23, 2012, spent the remainder of that season on injured reserve and spent last season on injured reserve as well. Carter has not missed any practice time in this training camp and has worked back to be in the rotation of backup safeties used by defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

Carter, Rahim Moore and T.J. Ward have taken most of the snaps with the starters and Carter routinely comes into the lineup when the Broncos move Ward around the formation in some of the specialty packages.

In the scrimmage portion of Saturday's practice, the starting defense will get 12 plays worth of work against the No. 2 offense.

For Smith, he did not play last season because he was still recovering from ACL surgery in his final season at Western Kentucky. Smith took part in training camp and played in the preseason for the Broncos last summer, but when it came time for the cut to 53 players, the coaches believed he was still favoring the injured leg and needed more time.

This summer Smith has gotten plenty of work in the starting defense given Von Miller is still limited in his return from his own ACL surgery and DeMarcus Ware was held out of a handful of practices with a bruised lower right leg.

"He's a guy that has some natural rush ability," Del Rio said. "He's long. He's active. I feel like he's had a good start to camp. He's made progress and gotten better as the week has gone on."

The scrimmage will be the last public practice the Broncos have in this training camp. They have been forced to close their practices because of construction at their suburban complex.

Also, Saturday head coach John Fox will leave following the scrimmage to travel to Canton, Ohio, to attend Michael Strahan's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Fox was the Giants' defensive coordinator during some of Strahan's career.