The Broncos are about to find out just how (un)important a placekicker is to their squad.
As first reported by Mike Klis, the team will be without placekicker Matt Prater for the first four games of the season due to an alcohol-related suspension.
Per Klis, there will be no appeal, as Prater had been facing a one-year ban as a repeat offender under the league's substance abuse policy.
Just when the Broncos thought they had found a punt returner, Jordan Norwood suffered a torn ACL on Wednesday, and is done for the year.
Norwood had been listed behind Wes Welker at both slot receiver and punt returner, but was likely to field punts if he made the 53-man roster.
He surely didn't know it (nor would he care), but Monday was a rough day for DeMarcus Ware in the football analysis corner of the internet.
Farrar cites Ware's position change under Monte Kiffin as having hampered his season.
Denver signed former Browns and Raiders defensive end Brian Sanford (6-2, 280) on Tuesday. He joins a long list of players who were first signed by Tom Heckert in Cleveland, and again with the Broncos.
Undrafted out of Temple in 2010, Sanford saw 108 snaps last season for Oakland and Cleveland, grading out at -2.5 according to PFF. He was officially credited with four tackles and four assists in seven games, including one start.
With Denver set to open the preseason on Thursday against some squad from Seattle, the team released its first depth chart on Sunday evening.
Okay, maybe not. Mitch Ewald is obviously here as camp fodder to give Matt Prater some rest.
In a long expected move, the Broncos have released tight end Joel Dreessen with one year remaining on his three-year contract.
Dreessen failed a physical after having had three knee surgeries over the past two offseasons.
The Coloradan and CSU alum might have been a cap casualty anyway, but his knee issues are apparently severe enough for him to have missed the season.
With training camp a week away, John Elway has already backed off his self-imposed deadline for extending the contracts of Demaryius and Julius Thomas.
Following a Tahoe practice round with John Fox and Joe Sakic, Elway told Lindsay Jones that he's willing to negotiate with the pending 2015 free agents through the first couple weeks of the preseason, suggesting a new deadline of mid-August.
The Cowboys have surprisingly relented their game of chicken with Kyle Orton, opting to release the backup quarterback.
Throughout the offseason, Orton made clear that he had no intention of reporting to the team, skipping OTAs and offseason workouts.
He reportedly prefers to retire.
However, Mike Florio reports that no formal offers have been extended, with his source bluntly characterizing the negotiation as "nothing going on."
It doesn't require much of a leap to conclude that the Broncos are the source for Lombardi and the DP, while Thomas's agent is Florio's.