Broncos Lose Three Players in a Matter of 48 Hours

Ron KnabenbauerCorrespondent IAugust 6, 2008

This week hasn’t been the start that head coach Mike Shanahan was hoping for.

With the Broncos first preseason game just days away, Shanahan learned that his best wide receiver will be suspended, his veteran center will miss more time from knee surgery, and a rookie running back with high hopes in the organization, is injured.

Marshall suspended for at least two games

On Monday night, the NFL Network reported that Broncos wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, would be suspended for three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. On Tuesday, the league delivered the punishment.

At the moment, the third-year wide out will be suspended for three games, but the sentence could be reduced to two games if Marshall goes to counseling and follows other conditions that NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, puts in place.

Marshall’s suspension was caused by three arrests in a one year span since March 2007. However, the incident that caught commissioner Goodell’s eye was an arrest on domestic violence with his ex-girlfriend in Atlanta.

The Broncos wide receiver is expected in court next month for drunken driving, but the arrest had little effect on the commissioner’s decision.

Marshall’s playing time increased in his second year with the Broncos due to injuries to Rod Smith and Javon Walker. He led the team with 102 catches and 1,325 yards.

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According to a statement made by Marshall on Wednesday, he is going to forget about the past and look ahead to the future.

“I am going to worry about the future and getting better on the field and in the community, and show my teammates that I am here every day, no matter what’s going on.”

Marshall’s suspension will cause him to miss divisional rivalry games against the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers, and maybe an NFC opponent in the New Orleans Saints.

His suspension won’t take effect until late August, meaning Marshall can still participate in all preseason practices and games.

Five-time pro-bowler out for another two weeks

As Marshall was receiving his suspension on Tuesday, the Broncos got more bad news in their 15-year veteran center, Tom Nalen.

Nalen suffered from a torn bicep last season, causing him to miss 11 regular season games.

Though he has recovered from his bicep injury, Nalen had off-season surgery on his left knee, and has been recovering since. Denver was hoping he would get some time in training camp, but it now looks that he’ll be out for at least two more weeks and possibly until the season opener.

The 37-year old center’s recent MRI came back negative; giving Broncos fans a deep sigh of relief that Nalen won’t need more surgery for the time being.

Running back Torain out six to eight weeks

The injury bug hit again on Wednesday as rookie running back, Ryan Torain, fractured his elbow during morning drills, causing him to miss at least six weeks.

Torain was the third running back on the depth chart, but Coach Shanahan had high hopes for him to compete with Selvin Young and Andre Hall.

“It’s a big loss,” Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday, “He’s one of the most gifted running back I’ve been around for a long time. He is very similar to Terrell Davis when he came in.”

The fifth round pick out of Arizona State also underwent an MRI on Wednesday to check for ligament damage.

Torain had 1,229 yards during his senior season in Tempe, but could have had more if he didn’t suffer from a fractured toe.

The Broncos first preseason game is Saturday against the Houston Texans at 8 P.M (EST).


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