Broncos Update Insider - Monday, July 30

With three top receivers on the PUP list, the Denver Broncos have some tough early decisions to make in training camp.

The Denver Broncos will wait impatiently as receiver Brandon Marshall's injured quadriceps muscle heals.

Marshall was placed on the physically unable to perform list, as was receiver Rod Smith and tight end Tony Scheffler. Smith and Scheffler were not expected to be ready for the start of training camp. Smith is coming off hip surgery and Scheffler is recovering from a broken foot. Both will come off the PUP when they're healthy. Scheffler should be back soon, and Smith might take a few more weeks to get ready.

Marshall was expected to be ready for the start of camp, even though he hurt his quadriceps muscle in a minicamp practice on July 10. Marshall missed a lot of practice time this offseason with nagging injuries. Considering the Broncos want Marshall to start opposite Javon Walker and he has very little experience, missing the start of camp isn't ideal.

"It never helps you when you're not practicing," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

Marshall missed most of the preseason his rookie year, and he started the season slow. By the end he was an effective receiver for the team, He had 287 of his 309 yards in the final seven weeks of the season. After that finish, coupled with Smith's physical problems, the Broncos figured Marshall could replace Smith in the starting lineup.

Marshall said he should miss about a week because the only way his quadriceps will get fully healthy is with rest. Marshall said he feels like he is ready to take on a big role for the Broncos this season, but missing practice time will hurt his progress.

"It's definitely a setback," Marshall said.

With Marshall out for the first practice, Brandon Stokley worked with Denver's starting offense. Stokley is coming off a torn Achilles' tendon, but he is progressing quickly. Stokley would be best suited to play the slot for the Broncos with Marshall and Walker on the outside, but Marshall needs to prove he can stay healthy before Denver can depend on that lineup.

CAMP CALENDAR: The Broncos reported to camp on July 28, their first practice was July 29. The Broncos travel to Texas for joint practices with the Cowboys on Aug. 15 and 16. Their camp in Denver ends on Aug. 11.


--Eddie Moore spent most of the offseason as Denver's start at strong-side outside linebacker, but he couldn't pass a physical because of an injured knee. Moore missed all of last season because of a knee injury, and he'll likely need an arthroscopic surgery to fix the latest problem. The Broncos released Moore, which will further open up the competition at strong-side linebacker.

--The Broncos got a late start to camp. Because their first game is on Monday night the first week of the preseason, after almost every other team starts, the team had to start camp on July 29. Teams can start camp 15 days before their first preseason game.

"It's a little tougher for us because we're starting a little later than most," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

However, Shanahan said he thought his team was ready because of its work in 15 OTA practices.

"I think it would have bothered me a long time ago when we didn't have football-related workouts," Shanahan said.

--Running back Terrell Davis was voted into the Broncos' ring of fame, an easy pick for one of the greatest players in franchise history. He will be officially inducted during Denver's Sept. 23 game against Jacksonville.

"I was like 'This is all right,'" Davis said. "I'm excited. It's like a confirmation of what your career meant to the city of Denver and the organization."

--The Broncos hired Mike Lombardi to the position of personnel assistant. Lombardi had been with the Raiders for eight years. He was Oakland's senior personnel executive at the end of his tenure, but was fired after last season.

--Safety Sam Brandon was released by the Broncos after his bad right knee needed another surgery. However, the Broncos kept the door open for him to come back if he gets healthy.

"If he can straighten out his medical issues going into the 2008 season, there is certainly a possibility of Sam returning to the club," Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You look forward to it because you go through OTAs and after a while you're like 'OK, let's start hitting.'" Then you start hitting and after a while you're like 'Let's stop hitting, let's go back to OTAs.'" -- Broncos DE Kenard Lang on training camp.


The Broncos suffered a blow just before training camp when safety Sam Brandon was told by doctors he needed another microfracture surgery on his right knee. He tore the ACL in his right knee last season. Brandon was released by the team, which is a blow to the depth at safety. The Broncos will scan the waiver wire and trade prospects for some depth at safety.

--CB Domonique Foxworth will practice some at safety during training camp. He filled in at safety in a pinch when Nick Ferguson suffered a season-ending injury last year, but he is undersized and had never played safety before. However, Sam Brandon was released because he was injured, so the Broncos don't have too much depth at safety.

--DT Sam Adams said he dropped a lot of weight in preparation for camp. Adams said his knee, which needed arthroscopic surgery this offseason, felt good and he had gotten acclimated to the altitude in Denver before camp started.

--DT Kenny Peterson was released on July 28, then brought back on the morning of July 29. Peterson was released to open a roster spot for rookies Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder when they were signed, but was re-signed when end Carlos Hall didn't report to camp.

--LB Wesly Mallard signed with the Broncos just before their first training camp practice. Mallard has NFL experience, and the linebacker position is one of the most wide open on the Broncos.

--FB Thump Belton was released by the team before camp. The Broncos have good depth at fullback with Kyle Johnson, Paul Smith and Troy Fleming.

INJURY REPORT: WR Rod Smith doesn't have a timetable for his return. He is still recovering from hip surgery and didn't practice this offseason. He has made a lot of progress recently and will return once he is fully healthy.

--WR Brandon Marshall should miss about a week with a quadriceps injury.

--TE Tony Scheffler is still recovering from a broken foot. He still isn't ready to practice, but should be able to return early in camp.

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