Carter was recently leapfrogged by Mike Adams in the team's starting strong safety spot due to his inactivity at such a crucial time in the year, but remains the favorite to see the bulk of the work at the position after a promising 2011 campaign. The second-year defensive back will now have exactly three weeks to prepare for Denver's Sept. 9 season opener with Pittsburgh.
A fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma who recorded 53 tackles last year in the Broncos' secondary, Carter has been itching to get back on the field since suffering both knee and hamstring injuries in late July. In addition to a physical presence like Carter, defensive back Tracy Porter and linebackers Ronnie Hillman and Danny Trevathan each also returned to practice on Monday, further strengthening John Fox's defense.
The 2011 fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma is still unlikely to suit up for Denver's August 18 game against the Seattle Seahawks after having his knee scoped at the beginning of the month, but could be in uniform the following week against the 49ers on August 26th.
A 10-game starter for head coach John Fox as a rookie, Carter entered camp in a tight battle with teammates Rahim Moore and Mike Adams for a starting safety spot in 2012. While his performance in his first year at the pro level certainly indicates that he's capable of contributing in a big way this season, the second-year defensive back will definitely need to make something happen in the preseason to inspire confidence in his coaches.
The Denver Broncos don't exactly have their depth chart figured out at either safety position right now, but injuries are now complicating the situation even further than before. Safety Quinton Carter, who started 10 games for the Broncos last season, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the week and now he is expected to miss at least two weeks of action (possibly including the first two preseason games).