BRONCOS’ ALL PRO TACKLE PREPARES FOR SEASON OPENER
ENGLEWOOD (AP) – Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady has spent years blocking defensive end Elvis Dumervil in practice. Now, the stakes are higher as Clady tries to keep Peyton Manning safe from Dumervil, who returns to Mile High on Thursday night as a hybrid linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens after departing Denver in the offseason. Clady knows he has his work cut out trying to keep one of the league’s top pass rushers far away from Manning. Said Clady of blocking Dumervil: “He’s a good player in this league and he’s definitely a challenge. I’m looking forward to the challenge and just playing my game, seeing if I can get the best of him.” Clady is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he allowed just one sack.
VON MILLER READY TO PAY HIS DUES
NEW YORK (AP) – Denver All-Pro linebacker Von Miller is among 20 NFL players suspended for the beginning of the NFL season. Miller will be out for six games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He will miss Thursday night’s opener between Super Bowl champion Baltimore and the Broncos.
Two players are suspended for eight games: Ravens defensive back Asa Jackson and Cincinnati defensive end DeQuin Evans, under the performance-enhancing drugs policy.
None of the 20 players has been suspended for violating the personal conduct policy, although Jets running back Mike Goodson was arrested in New Jersey in May on drugs and weapons charges and will miss four games for substance abuse. His case was sent to a grand jury.
PAC 12 QB BATTLES
PHOENIX (AP) – Several Pac-12 teams had prolonged quarterback competitions that lasted until the opening game. Some still haven’t been decided.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and Southern California coach Lane Kiffin never did announce starting quarterbacks before their opening games, opting to keep it under wraps until the first play of the game. Arizona’s B.J. Denker played well against Northern Arizona and will start against UNLV, but Kiffin has yet to announce whether Cody Kessler or Max Wittek will start against Washington State. California, Colorado and Oregon State all had tight quarterback competitions but seem to be set on who their starts will be for the season.