RIP Kenny McKinley Lard 9-21-10

It is a somber morning in Broncos Land, as the team finds itself mourning the loss of its third player in less than four years. WR Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. McKinley was only 23, leaving behind a young son. Drafted 141st overall in the 2009 Draft, McKinley returned 3 punts and 7 kickoffs last season before injuring his knee during a Week 16 game at Philadelphia. McKinley was placed on IR and had knee surgery, only to recover and suffer another season-ending knee injury this August. Josh McDaniels had the following to say:

Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Our thoughts here at IAOFM go out to the family, friends and teammates of Kenny McKinley. We hope he has found a better place and may he rest in peace.

Kenny McKinley 1987-2010

DP - In a sad twist, Broncos players were at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, which includes the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center, for a fundraiser when they learned of McKinley’s death.

USAT - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier reacts to the loss of his school’s all-time leading receiver.

DP - A few former teammates of McKinley’s, including Tony Scheffler, spoke about their late friend. Lindsay Jones shares her own memories of McKinley.

DP - Kiszla says teams don’t stay together long enough to truly bond or to mourn a loss like McKinley’s. Another strange one from Kiz…

SI - Don Banks reacts to the loss of McKinley.

Broncos

OMF - Ted Bartlett wrote an exceptional column on Josh McDaniels - his gumption to do what he believes is right, his construction of the roster, and his emerging passing offense.

DB - Gabe Hiatt talks to Perrish Cox, Brandon Lloyd and Robert Ayers about Sunday’s win.

DP - LJ recaps the debut of WR Demaryius Thomas, who McD says is among the fastest players on the team. According to Thomas, his best pre-draft time in the 40 was 4.38 seconds.

DP - Legwold thinks the Broncos will need to flash some versatility over the next few weeks to be successful.

DP - The Broncos used two or three tight ends in 49 of their offensive snaps on Sunday (including penalties).

DP - Klis examines the Broncos’ injury issues at CB. Plus, he explains why Matt Prater wears rubber bands on his kicking shoe, among other questions.

DP - The Broncos are hoping that Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris will both be returning to action on Sunday. Actually, we ALL are…

DP - In case you were wondering, Peyton Manning has done really, really, really, really, really well against the Broncos in the past. Plus, some notes on the matchup.

Enemies

Browns center Alex Mack says Chefs DL Shaun Smith grabbed his cojones during Sunday’s game.

Nick Canepa looks at the Chargers’ typically mercurial start. Meanwhile, RB Ryan Mathews is expected to play Sunday despite an ankle injury.

Tom Cable will announce his starter at QB tomorrow.

Around the League

Matt Bowen recaps the Saints’ 25-22 win at San Francisco last night.

Mike Lombardi was impressed Sunday by the Texans, Jay Cutler and Michael Vick. Plus, he says Demaryius Thomas “will be a great player” once he gets fully attuned to the pros.

Steelers QB Dennis Dixon is out 3 to 5 weeks with a knee injury.

Considering how many injuries have already occurred, Judy Battista wonders how the NFL will manage an 18-game schedule.

There’s already a QB change in Buffalo. Same story in Carolina.

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

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