Pads mean it’s finger crossing time

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Starting today, it's time we start holding our collective breaths.

Pads are going on, and hitting will start.

The term real football is overused at every juncture of the NFL calendar, and this is most definitely not that.

After all, we're talking about practice.

But these early days of camp seem to always be fraught with serious injuries, if not in Denver, then elsewhere.

The practice reports highlighted by touchdowns and interceptions are fun and all, but let's just hope for good health.

Broncos

Videos: John Fox, Julius Thomas, Andre Caldwell, and several others speak after practice.

Cody Latimer, Omar Bolden, Andre Caldwell, and Isaiah Burse are early punt and kick return candidates.

Michael Schofield is splitting time between right tackle and guard; here's where we recall that Orlando Franklin is a pending free agent.

Julius Thomas, who received some tutelage this offseason from Tony Gonzalez, says he's really not thinking about his contract situation.

Those aforementioned picks came courtesy of Sylvester Williams and David Bruton.

Sly admits he was a bit overwhelmed as a rookie.

Andrew Mason says Brock Osweiler is showing better anticipation on his throws so far.

Benjamin Hochman loves what he's seen from Latimer, and he thinks Terrance Knighton is embarking upon his most important season.

There's no better indication that Von Miller is back to being himself than his choice of hosiery.

News

Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu is currently aiming to make his return from ACL surgery just in time to face the Broncos in Week 5.

Green Bay extended wideout Jordy NelsonIndy running back Vick Ballard tore his Achilles tendon and is done for the year; Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks is calling an end to a career derailed by MRSA.

Drew Brees thinks he can play into his mid-forties; let's just hope Peyton Manning feels the same way.

Analysis

Chris Burke calls T.J. Ward the league's best run-stuffing safety.

Team previews: Green Bay (Frank Schwab), Washington (Greg Bedard).

Chase Stuart studies quarterbacks by yards per completion.

No Females League

The Ravens are doing their best (worst?) to defend the character of Ray Rice.

Mina Kimes wonders why the NFL expects to draw in new female fans when it treats domestic violence so lightly? Pink merchandise, duh!

Tomas Rios reminds us that lax treatment of domestic violence is not just an NFL problem, but a societal one.

Noted blowhard Stephen A. Smith thinks domestic violence is a matter of women getting what they have coming.

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

The Lard