CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- When the Broncos begin workouts Thursday at Dove Valley, the top-ranked defense will more be notable for who’s not practicing. Pro Bowlers Aqib Talib (lower right leg) and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (back) will start on the non-football injury list, according to general manager John Elway.
Talib suffered a gunshot wound last month that the NFL continues to investigate for potential discipline. The cornerback is no longer on crutches, but needs more recovery time. Coach Kubiak labeled Talib, “really close” to being cleared. A player can come off the NRI list at anytime. Ware suffered a disc injury last season and suffered other ailments that caused him to miss five games and parts of two others. The Broncos believe they have a good plan in place to manage Ware, but the goal remains getting ready for the season opener, not the exhibition season.
In Ware’s absence, Shane Ray, who has increased his weight and strength, and Shaquil Barrett will receive additional reps.
-- Trainer’s table --
Kubiak revealed that left tackle Russell Okung will be on a progression plan as he recovers from a shoulder injury. That means he will do some team work before working with the training staff. Right guard Ty Sambrailo (shoulder) has been cleared to participate fully. Same with linebacker Brandon Marshall (finger), who takes over Danny Trevathan’s position with Todd Davis the favorite to fill Marshall’s spot. Tight ends Virgil Green (finger) and Jeff Heuerman (hamstring) have healed since missing team drills in the offseason, but will be spared some special teams duty as they ease back into the fold. Kubiak admitted the position is a bit concerning.