Brown Suffers Setback

At first, no one but the players had any idea who it was laying on the ground during the Denver Broncos Thursday training camp practice.

The players stood silent as one of their own lay on the artificial turf of the Bronco's indoor practice field. Eight flood lights with an eerie glow illuminated the plastic bubble that covers the field. The only sounds that could be heard were the constant sound of the rain that has been falling since the day before, private jets taking off and landing at the near by airport and painful screams that came from the injured player. No one but the players had any idea who it was laying on the ground, and then it came to light - number 98, Courtney Brown, was the injured Bronco.

Brown, for those who have been living in a cave since March 31st, is one of the four Cleveland Browns defensive linemen that joined the Broncos in the off season. Brown was expected to bookend the defensive line opposite Trevor Pryce, and help the Broncos put pressure on the quarterback, maybe the weakest area for the Broncos in 2004 season.

Brown was diagnosed with a dislocated elbow. If there can be good news in bad news, that announcement was good.

"There were no breaks; he should be out, optimistically in 3 weeks, to pessimistically 4-6 weeks." coach Mike Shanahan said after practice.

Shanahan stated this was the same type of injury that Shannon Sharpe experienced two years ago and he was able to return from in three weeks.

"I love these guys, they're like my family. I don't want to see any guy get hurt," defensive line coach Andre Patterson responsed to questions about what he saw.

D.J. Williams was asked how something like Brown's injury affects the team, "When any teammate gets hurt it doesn't sit well with any of the players, because we're all like family, and thank god it's nothing too serious."

Brown has a history of injuries since being picked number one overall draft pick by Cleveland in 2000. He has played a total of 47 NFL games with injuries such as knees and ankles, a torn bicep, neck injury and a season ending foot injury that he suffered two games into the 2004 season.

When Brown is in the lineup he's a force to be reckoned with. It's just getting him there consistently that seems to be the problem.

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