NFLers dropping like flies Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! If any doubts had remained, the first few days of training camps around the NFL have offered a powerful argument against expansion to an 18-game season.

On Thursday, Washington lost LB Keenan Robinson to a torn pec, and it was learned that a hip injury to Seattle WR Percy Harvin may require surgery and shelve him for the season.

The next day, we found out that torn ACLs to San Diego LB Jonas Mouton and Jets CB Aaron Berry had wiped out their 2013 campaigns.

Saturday was even more brutal.

Philadelphia lost Jeremy Maclin - who led the team in nearly every receiving category in 2012 - to a torn ACL.

Baltimore tight end Dennis Pitta - whose 24-yard catch on 3rd-and-13 was a key to flipping the field in OT against Denver in January - is reportedly done for the year after he suffered a dislocated hip during practice.

Cleveland lineman and ex-Buff Ryan Miller was immobilized, placed on a backboard, and taken to a hospital by ambulance, after he suffered a concussion during one-on-one blocking drills on Saturday. Thankfully, he was released from the hospital after passing a battery of tests.

Of course, Denver opens against the Ravens and hosts the Eagles in Week 4, and the injuries to Maclin and Pitta will factor in those games. But, back to the larger point.

Football is a vicious game, and it would be, even if head injuries were to be somehow eliminated. There would be even more serious injuries, had the NFLPA not won concessions from the league regarding practice schedules and contact, in the last CBA negotiation.

Next time Roger Goodell starts talking about how player health is his number-one priority, think of all these summertime injuries, and his plan to expand the regular season.

16 games is enough.

Broncos

Dan Koppen was back working as the starting center on Saturday.

Lineman C.J. Davis suffered an ankle sprain during Denver's first padded practice; Rahim Moore, Ronnie Hillman, and Julius Thomas were among those said to have stood out.

Quanterus Smith also shined, as did fellow young defensive linemen Malik Jackson and Sly Williams.

The competition to start at safety alongside Rahim Moore has apparently expanded to include Mike Adams, David Bruton, Quentin Jammer, and Duke Ihenacho.

Champ Bailey continues to get more rest during practice as he ages, while Brock Osweiler is making more line calls in his second year.

Denver's defenders continue to be excited about having the same coordinator running the show in back-to-back years.

Julius Thomas relied upon his faith to help get him through the injury-plagued start to his NFL career.

Although Hillman's efforts draw plenty of praise in the above links, Woody Paige (of course) thinks he's making a unique point when he says the second-year back looked good on Saturday.

With an assist from Cecil Lammey, Benjamin Hochman points out that rookie backs under John Fox have never topped 184 carries.

Videos: Sounds and highlights from Saturday's practice, after which John Fox, Jack Del Rio, and Adam Gase speak.

Von Miller

While Colorado marijuana proponents don't see his positive drug tests of 2011 as a big deal, Mike Klis says Von Miller may suffer negative consequences relative to both his image and his next contract.

As a former A&M teammate of Von's reminds us, these aren't Miller's first highly visible growing pains.

News

Old friend Spencer Larsen signed with Tampa Bay.

Oakland WR Andre Holmes has been suspended four games for PED use.

Unrelated to the injury to Maclin, Philly added WR Dave Ball, who had an FCS record 58 touchdowns at New Hampshire under Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

Seattle claimed LB O'Brien Schofield off waivers from Arizona; Miami waived QB Aaron Corp.

Colts wideout Reggie Wayne arrived at training camp in a helicopter, along with a patient from a local children's hospital.

Tim Tebow's performance in practice already has Patriots fans jeering him, but he can at least still count Johnny Football among his fans.

Analysis

Andy Benoit discusses the prospects of the Chiefs and Colts; he doesn't see Kansas City competing with Denver for the AFCW title, and he sees far better talent surrounding Andrew Luck than was in Indy a year ago.

As Pat Kirwan had done recently, Len Pasquarelli chooses a random landmark (400 carries) to discuss the shrinking reliance upon workhorse running backs. But unlike Kirwan, Pasquarelli correctly credits this to the still increasing efficiency of the passing game, rather than some imaginary move toward RB committees.

Now that rookie compensation is slotted, Kirwan expects us to see more draftees choosing not to hire agents for their rookie contracts, which makes sense.

Neil Hornsby checks in from Seahawks camp.

Maths

Chase Stuart looks back at each team's Week 1 starting quarterbacks throughout history; since 1960, nobody has started more consecutive season openers than John Elway and Dan Marino.

Jason Fitzgerald studies the Panthers' recent contract restructurings and the NFL's three 2013 draftees who remain unsigned.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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