Broncos head coach John Fox announced earlier this afternoon that Kyle Orton will be the Broncos' starting quarterback when Denver hosts Oakland on MNF on September 12. Only weeks after the team tried to deal Orton to Miami and presumably hand the starting job to Tim Tebow, Orton is now the clear-cut starter, while Tebow is battling with Brady Quinn for the Broncos' backup job.
The Broncos have released Denver native LenDale White, who missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon and had gained 10 yards on four carries during the team's preseason opener in Dallas. White had been listed as fourth on the Broncos' initial depth chart behind Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee and Lance Ball, and his release was likely hastened by the impressive performance thus far of Jeremiah Johnson, who gained 28 yards and scored a TD on four carries Thursday.
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
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.
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.
In case you were wondering why the Broncos had Steven Hauschka still on the roster and playing last night, it wasn't just to keep starting placekicker Matt Prater fresh. Turns out, the team may need him at some point this year - if and when Prater is suspended by the NFL. Why would he be suspended? Well, Prater was arrested last week for DUI in Greenwood Village. Apparently, Prater's hefty raise from $550K last year to $1.835M this season on a restricted tender couldn't afford the guy a cab or designated driver. And to top it all off, he was also charged with fleeing the scene of an accident. Idiot kickers...
NFL.com's Mike Lombardi posted a column today proclaiming that Tim Tebow has no support among the Denver brass, and that with Josh McDaniels out of the organization and John Fox wanting to "win now and worry about the future later," Tebow is merely at this point vying for the backup job with Brady Quinn. The former Broncos consultant says any team with Tebow needs to commit fully to developing him into a pro QB, and he speculates that such an undertaking will only happen in another organization that acquires him ala Steve Young and the Niners back in 1987.
Yet, as respectable as Lombardi's writing and knowledge of the league are, this one reads as hard to believe. It was only two weeks ago that Orton was reportedly thisclose to being shipped off to Miami, as clear a sign as any that the Broncos were prepared to move forward with Tebow as their QB, at least for the 2011 season. And while it's feasible that Orton has outperformed Tebow so much so that he's the clear starter right now, there are still four preseason games and 4.5 weeks to go before the opener versus Oakland. Could the Broncos organization have performed a complete 180 regarding their long-term plans at QB in a matter of two weeks? I find that dubious at best.
The Broncos have released their first official depth chart of the year; some brief observations:
Without a doubt, the biggest stunner is that Chris Kuper, who received over $13M in guarantees as part of a contract extension in June of 2010 and has been a fixture at RG for four seasons, is listed with the third-team offense behind Russ Hochstein and Eric Olsen. Either this is motivational in nature, or the Broncos really will be scouring the waiver wire for linemen, and hard. FWIW, TJ has been telling me for a long time that he doesn't get why Kuper receives so much praise. Well, apparently Kuper is killing it at practice today, because just in the past hour he's jumped back up to the first team! Or, it was just a typo by the guys running the official site. (Thanks, Royalwithcheese)
2. Despite all the accolades for rookie Julius Thomas' play thus far in camp, and speculation that Richard Quinn's job was in jeopardy, Quinn sits with the second teamers behind newly-acquired Daniel Fells, with Thomas down with the fifth team and fellow rookie Virgil Green sixth.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Tim Tebow/Kyle Orton debate for some other news this afternoon.
The Denver Broncos reported that undrafted free-agent running back Mario Fannin cleared waivers and is now back with the Broncos on injured reserve.
Yesterday the Broncos waived Fannin due to a knee injury he suffered in practice earlier in the week.
Nearly five months after the NFLPA decertified their union and owners instituted a lockout, the players today voted to ratify the new CBA which promises 10 years of labor peace. With this news, the 2011 league year has officially begun, and players with new contracts like returning Broncos Brian Dawkins and Marcus Thomas and new acquisitions Ty Warren, Willis McGahee, and Derrick Harvey are finally eligible to practice.