Broncos bring Mohamed back to PS, dump Ingram

The Broncos have re-signed linebacker Mike Mohamed to their practice squad today; Jacksonville had waived him from their PS yesterday, two weeks after having signed him.

To make room for Mohamed, their own 2011 sixth-round pick, Denver waived TE Cornelius Ingram.

With the one-game suspension of Joe Mays and the injury to Nate Irving (concussion), Denver is currently down to five healthy linebackers. Von Miller, Keith Brooking, and Wesley Woodyard are expected to start on Sunday, with sixth-rounder Danny Trevathan and undrafted rookie Stephen Johnson as backups.

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Was it worth it, owners? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, it's thankfully, finally over. Many hours after Chris Mortensen reported the NFL and NFLRA had come to an agreement on a new contract, they actually agreed to a fresh deal.

To get there, it only took three weeks of craptastic officiating and a call so bad that a Vegas sportsbook is refunding losing bets.

Some questions:

What if the tipping point Packers/Seahawks call had occurred instead in the Jacksonville/Indy Sunday game that was probably seen live by fifty people who aren't Jags or Colts fans? Would we still be celebrating a return of the regular officials today? Or would the resulting uproar not be enough to sway ownership?

Was it worth it, NFL owners? You've cost yourselves and your sport a good chunk of credibility. The fans who sided with you during the 2011 player lockout, and for two weeks of this officiating lockout? Even they finally realize now how little you truly care about the integrity of the game. We're curious to see if this affects the public opinion of player lawsuits regarding your handling of head injuries.

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Chris Kuper in pads and practicing

Manny Ramirez's days functioning as a turnstile along the Broncos offensive line are nearing an end.

Right guard Chris Kuper has returned to participate in today's padded practice, raising hopes that he will be available on at least a part-time basis on Sunday against Oakland. However, Lindsay Jones says the seventh-year player is unlikely to dress Sunday.

Ramirez is the only of Denver's five starting offensive linemen to receive a negative overall score from PFF (-5.3), although he did grade out at +2.1 for the opening win over Pittsburgh.

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Mort: NFL, referees nearing agreement

ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that the two sides are closing in on an agreement which would bring the real officials back in time for Sunday's games.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Mort is reporting that a deal is done, but everyone else says there are still hurdles to be cleared. Classic Mort.

Peter King says that if an agreement is reached by tomorrow afternoon, then the regular refs would indeed be available to report for work on Sunday. This is apparently thanks in large part to the work of Ed Hochuli, who has taken the initiative of keeping his colleagues up to snuff on the latest rule changes and testing their knowledge weekly.

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Early metrics: Broncos are pretty good

Now that we're three weeks into the season, stats and metrics can begin to have at least some meaning.

But as noted in the title, it's still rather early - so take these rankings with a grain of salt.

Brian Burke's efficiency rankings - which consider passing, running, turnovers, penalties, and strength of schedule - have Denver as the third-most efficient team in the league (sixth in offense, third in defense), behind the Texans and Eagles.

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Ginger is Hammerless in ref dispute Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's appearing as if the officiating lockout will continue into the forseeable future, as if Jerry Jones's comments yesterday didn't establish that already.

The two sides met on Tuesday for the fourth consecutive day, but reportedly made little or no progress toward a deal. Incredibly, the NFL still has the nerve to spin this dispute as being about raising the quality of officiating, rather than about taking away pensions of the refs who are now so sorely missed.

Mike Freeman hears that Roger Goodell would have settled this dispute months ago were he anything more than a lapdog for the league's owners, but he also suggests that Ginger's lack of assertion may cost him his legacy as Commish. Freeman says an end to the impasse could come this week - and he's betting on a deal coming this weekend - but he hears the prideful owners don't want to appear to have been swayed by what happened on Monday.

But these owners aren't just prideful; they're a lovely mix of Lucky Sperm Club members and hardened business bullies who simply aren't used to hearing no as an answer.

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Young: Scabs affecting NFL’s competitive landscape

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Heading into Raiders Week off a dud

A late-game collapse by the Steelers on Sunday allowed the Raiders a fourth-quarter comeback capped by a game-winning field goal as time expired.

"They outplayed us defensively," Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark said. "Their defense made the stops when they needed to, and we didn't. It wasn't from a lack of trying. Maybe it was trying too hard."

Could Denver have been trying too hard on Sunday against the Texans? That’s hard to imagine. But there’s still a grain of truth there.

What happened against Houston was nothing more or less than a better team beating a lesser one. No one likes admitting when their team simply doesn’t have the players or the chops to overcome their opponent, but Denver fans are going to have to accept it this time. Ironically, the Texans have spent years building a team that could beat Peyton Manning.

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NFL bans Mays one game for Schaub hit

According to Adam Schefter, the hit by Broncos linebacker Joe Mays on Matt Schaub during Sunday's loss to the Texans has landed Mays a one-game suspension from the league.

Mays, who will appeal the ruling, has been effusively and repeatedly apologetic for the blow, which cost Schaub a significant chunk of his left earlobe.

The fifth-year player had earlier been penalized $7,875 for a Week 2 hit on Falcons QB Matt Ryan.

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What we’ve all been dreading Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There are plenty of reasons to be a fan of the NFL over other sports.

It's an exciting game with supreme athleticism, choreographical beauty, and intellectual strategy. At turns, a football game can be won by the strongest men, while at others, its smartest can rule the day. It is played by nimble 330-pound men and brutally strong 230-pounders alike.

For the most part, it is a fair game.

Never before have I thought about why I love the NFL and considered officiating. But I have often viewed soccer matches and boxing bouts, noted the notoriously inconsistent officiating, and found myself grateful to not be a fan of either sport.

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