Thomas to miss rest of preseason; Warren has torn triceps tendon

According to Josina Anderson, fifth-year DT Marcus Thomas is expected to miss Denver's remaining preseason games and perhaps more, with a pectoral injury that is being called "a little more serious than a strain."

Update 11:21AM ET - Meanwhile, Ty Warren does in fact have a tear in his triceps, although the Broncos' FO has not yet decided whether to place him on season-ending IR just yet. According to Mike Klis, there is some hope that Warren could forego surgery and return at some point this season.

Update 12:30PM ET - According to Anderson, Warren also has a bone fragment floating around in his elbow area

The Daily Lard 8-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, not really. During yesterday's practice, Ty Warren suffered a triceps tendon injury that's thought to be serious; he underwent an MRI last night, the results of which we can expect sometime today. To top it off, fellow defensive tackle Marcus Thomas strained his right pec and was also scheduled to undergo an MRI last night. With yesterday's release of DT Louis Leonard, that leaves Brodrick Bunkley, Kevin Vickerson, Jeremy Jarmon, Mitch Unrein, Ryan McBean and Ronnell Brown as the healthy tackles on Denver's roster.

Now, this may be bad news, but keep in mind - serious injuries are a part of almost every NFL team, every year - just ask the SB Champion Packers, who had 16 players on IR last year including six starters. This is why teams need quality depth. Yes, the Broncos were greatly impacted by the injury to Elvis Dumervil last year, but the reality is that their season was harmed equally by the lack of starting-caliber players behind him. So whatever happens with Warren, it's not an excuse for the FO - it's their job to have enough talent on the roster to make up for his potential loss. Remember - it's all in the game.

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Ty Warren to get MRI on triceps-injury

Death.  Taxes.  NFL preseason injuries.

Klis reported earlier that newly acquired defensive tackle, Ty Warren, could have a siginifcant tricep injury.

We'll likely know the damage by tomorrw.  Warren is getting an MRI late tonight.

Warren, along with fellow DT Marcus Thomas, both left today's practice at Dove Valley with injuries.

Many considered Warren the Broncos' biggest free-agent acquisition and had him penciled into the opening-day lineup.

If the injury costs Warren most (or all) of his season, luckily, the Broncos have enough depth--at the moment.

Broncos add LB Bowen, release Leonard, waive Domino

The Broncos made a few roster moves today, claiming LB Alvin Bowen off waivers from Jacksonville, releasing DT Louis Leonard, and designating LB Derek Domino as waived/injured.

Bowen (6-1, 222) dressed for two games last year with the Jaguars, was originally a fifth-round pick of the Bills in 2008, and has also been a member of the Redskins and Seahawks. Denver had signed Leonard just prior to their season finale last year, while Domino was an undrafted free agent signed this year out of South Dakota State.

Monday Musings

I’m still watching film of the preseason opener. Overall, I like what I see. Dallas is a very physical team that Denver had to stand up to, and the starting offense put together a nice early drive and basically took a bow, while the defense played on a bit. It’s a good start to the preseason - I want to see some production, and I liked what I saw early on defense. Since those are mostly the players that will be with the team later on, they were the ones that I tended to focus on.

Defensive Line

A lot was made of free agency this year - the unprecedented number of UFAs, the unusual (but effective) signing of UDFAs as well as the inevitable draft, which once more featured the Broncos moving up and down the board effectively. Rookie signings went off without a hitch, and I don’t ever remember that happening before. Denver seems to be moving in a direction that meets both of their needs - they’re bringing in players who are veteran enough to play right now, and they’re getting veterans who are young enough to build on over time. I have to admit - add the way Denver’s moved around the draft board and the way they are handling the most important FA period in 10 years and you have to give credit where it’s due. The team looks a lot deeper, more talented and well-planned than the conglomeration of odds and ends they'd had each of the prior four or five years.

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The Daily Lard 8-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Legwold checks in on DT Marcus Thomas, who has of course played for a different defensive coordinator in each of his five NFL seasons with the Broncos. Thomas, who will only be turning 26 next month, tells Legwold that, "Every year it seemed like I was trying to learn a new system, learn something new," followed by the obligatory, "I feel like this defense suits me and the things I can do."

As Legwold points out, Mike Shanahan called Thomas a "first-round talent" after he dealt three picks to the Vikings in a draft day trade for the 121st-overall pick the Broncos would use to select the ex-Gator. One of those picks (Denver's '08 third-rounder) would eventually end up with KC, who utilized it to draft Jamaal Charles. Interestingly, that #121 pick had been Denver's original fourth-rounder, but they'd dealt it away the year before as part of their two-part move up to get Jay Cutler, and other players tied to its transactions include WR Sidney Rice and the oft-rumored Denver target John Abraham. Pretty simple, right?

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Sunday Musings

One thing that Denver is working hard on is defensive communication. The past two seasons were frequently marred by communication breakdowns on both offense and defense, which are a sign that the coaching isn’t getting through to the players. This year, Dennis Allen isn’t going to have any of it:

Dennis Allen’s voice is always heard loud and clear on the practice field and communication was key for the defensive coordinator during the walkthrough. “We have got to emphasize our communication,” Allen said repeatedly to his defense. “Don’t assume everyone knows the call.”

That seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, if you look over the past two seasons, one consistency was that the players were often on different pages and the pointless penalties that usually come from a lack of communication and lapses in concentration - false starts, offsides, encroachment and so forth - were surprisingly common and broke up many Denver drives and lengthened opponents' possessions unnecessarily.

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The Daily Lard 8-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Broncos have been a bit banged up at receiver, but Eddie Royal did catch passes yesterday on a field adjacent to practice and should be back in full this week. Royal has been hampered by soreness in his previously healthy hip, presumably due to him compensating for his surgically repaired one. Plus, Matthew Willis was limited in practice and TE Richard Quinn will be out 2-4 weeks with a strained MCL.

Meanwhile, the team waived/injured WR Mark Dell and will likely place him on IR if he clears waivers; Dell suffered a serious knee injury in Thursday's game. They replaced him with former Purdue WR Greg Orton, who was an undrafted signee of the Bengals in 2009 and appeared in three preseason games for Cincy that year.

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Thoughts on the Broncos’ secondary

The defensive backfield has some interesting plot twists coming into view this week. Second-year player and former UDFA out of Mississippi, Cassius Vaughn (4 tackles, 1 assist) had a young players’ game - he made some mistakes and made some great plays. His mistakes tended to be from trying to do too much, but he played very well overall. Perrish Cox (no tackles) had some good plays and an excellent INT; he’s struggled in his attempt to change to nickelback, which is a new position for him.  Despite his legal struggles, there’s no question that he’s a talented player - his interception showed that - but Denver can’t count on him being around all season, to be real about it. Vaughn has taken more naturally to the nickel position and as a result he has been getting reps with the first-team nickel package, the second-team base defense (left cornerback), the second-team nickel package and all of the special-teams units, in one role or another. He’s also the No. 2 kickoff returner behind Eric Decker, and looks to have a roster slot locked up in a defensive backfield that’s going to be tough to make.

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The Daily Lard 8-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The details of Matt Prater's DUI arrest are pretty embarrassing*, laughable within the context that nobody got hurt and it all occurred within the confines of a parking lot. Sounds like our idiot kicker picked up a waitress/bartender/stripper at Shotgun Willie's, backed his Blazer into a parked car, and then tried to get a room in the hotel of said parking lot after being yelled at by a bunch of witnesses. When that didn't work out, he ditched the young lady and headed over to a nearby La Quinta where the police found him.

Prater then proceeded to fail his sobriety test and took a breathalyzer test at the police station, telling the cops along the way, "I really messed up. I'm going to lose my job. I deserve this." Meanwhile, the Broncos released the following statement:

Our organization is disappointed with the poor judgment shown by Matt Prater on Aug. 2. This matter, which was addressed with the team last week, continues to be thoroughly reviewed internally.

Drinking and driving is without doubt a serious matter, as comedic as this tale appears to be. But let's just be glad no one was injured, and hope that Prater and his teammates learn a good lesson from his shenanigans.

* Speaking of embarrassing, I'm reminded that I forgot to mention that it's Doc's birthday today! Please join all of us in wishing Doc a happy one, with many healthy ones to come!

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