DeMarcus Ware Was Held Out Day One Of The Denver Broncos 2016 OTAs

The Broncos opened up OTAs without their veteran leader on defense.

Tuesday, the Denver Broncos kicked off Organized Team Activities at the UC Health Training Center. As the team begins their collective effort to defend their Super Bowl 50 Championship, they do so without star outside linebacker Von Miller

Miller is absenting himself from OTAs, as he works to negotiate a long term deal with the Broncos. His absence, however, was not unexpected. 

DeMarcus Ware's absence was. The soon-to-be 34-year-old was held out of Tuesday's session with a bit of a back issue. However, head coach Gary Kubiak iterated that it was more a precautionary decision. 

“His back is bothering him a little bit but I would tell you its probably more preventative than anything, so he’s going to be a day-to-day participant," Kubiak said. "I’m going to have about 10 guys that are going to go every other day. We’ll probably make decisions on DeMarcus day-to-day, depending on how he’s feeling.” Ware is coming off another Pro Bowl season that saw him notch 7.5 sacks in the regular season. He missed five starts due to his back, but more than made up for it in the postseason. 

Ware tallied 4.5 sacks in the playoffs, including Denver's must-win Week 17 bout with San Diego. In the Super Bowl, he was an absolute menace, battering Cam Newton relentlessly and sacking him twice. 

Following the third Super Bowl victory in franchise history, many expected the Broncos to release Ware, due to his restrictive salary cap impact. However, Ware agreed to a contract restructure to return and play one more season in Denver. 

Whatever we need to do to keep me here, I was very involved with Elway talking back and forth with him," Ware said in April. "That’s why I like him. As a general manager, you can talk to him and be man to man and say, ‘This is what we can’t do and this is what we can do,’ and talk face to face and get it done.”

According to team scuttlebutt, the expectation is for Ware to have a reduced role in 2016. The idea is to put him on a kind of pitch count, reserving him for third down and obvious passing situations. In reality, nothing much will change for Ware, other than his snap counts. 

“I don’t think my role would be different," Ware said. "My role has always been sacking the quarterback. It’s going to stay the same. Coaches are staying the same, the trainers are the same, the strength guys are the same, so I don’t think my role is going to change. I think maybe the way we’ll approach the season. OK, instead of doing 50 plays in OTAs, give him 30.”

Look for Ware to return to action soon. Also absent from OTAs on day one was rookie second-round DE Adam Gotsis, who's recovering from knee surgery. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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