Montee Ball participated in practice Wednesday in a limited capacity, continuing to regain strength after an appendectomy. He won't play Saturday, but his progress suggests he's on track for the season opener. He won't know until he takes that first hit. "There was no hesitation to return because there was no pain," said Ball, who is going to experiment with playing lighter after losing weight during this process. "I am here to play football, not sit on the sideline." That's where receiver Emmanuel Sanders spent his time. He is proceeding cautiously with a right quadriceps injury. He worked with the trainer Wednesday and is unlikely to start vs. the Houston Texans on Saturday. He's looking at the big picture, and doesn't want to create a nagging injury.