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Marshall misses Broncos practice again

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall appears unlikely to make his preseason debut in Sunday night’s exhibition against the Chicago Bears after missing practice again.

Marshall, who had offseason hip surgery, has missed most of the team’s training camp with a hamstring problem. He also has requested a trade after clashing with the organization and new coach Josh McDaniels over his desire for a new contract.

McDaniels refused to specify the reasons for Marshall’s absence from practice. He had returned to practice Tuesday, and McDaniels had said he participated fully in the team’s drills. However, Marshall appeared to hold himself out of some pre-practice warmup drills Wednesday – the only portion of the team’s workout open to the media – and was nowhere to be seen on Thursday.

During a brief post-practice news conference, McDaniels refused to say whether Marshall’s absence was health-related.

“I’m not going into it,” he said. “If they’re not ready or able, they’re not out here.”

McDaniels was then asked if Marshall was on the premises.

“I don’t know where he’s at right now. He was in the building this morning,” McDaniels replied.

McDaniels appeared to become irritated when, in a follow-up question, he was asked whether he had spoken with Marshall.

“I’m not talking about it,” McDaniels said. “He’s not out here at practice. When he’s ready and able to practice, he will practice. That’s it.”

The Associated Press sought comment from Marshall’s agent, Kennard McGuire, but was told he was out of the country until Monday.

McDaniels held Marshall out of last Saturday’s exhibition at Seattle, saying the wide receiver wasn’t prepared to take the field in a game. Marshall missed the team’s exhibition opener against San Francisco with an injury.

Marshall has only practiced a handful of times this offseason. A Pro Bowl receiver with 206 receptions the past two seasons, Marshall has sought a new contract and, after the Broncos did not act on his request, asked in June to be traded.

He pulled a hamstring on the first weekend of training camp and didn’t return until a week ago. But after telling reporters that he still wasn’t up to speed on the new playbook, Marshall found himself limited largely to scout team duties last week.

NOTES: Injured running backs Knowshon Moreno (knee) and Lamont Jordan (leg) were again held out of practice, along with defensive linemen Marcus Thomas (shoulder) and Le Kevin Smith (unspecified), quarterback Chris Simms (ankle), cornerback Tony Carter (leg). … It’s been a whirlwind couple days for offensive lineman Russ Hochstein, who took part in his second practice with the Broncos since being acquired Tuesday in a trade with New England. “It’s been pretty fast,” Hochstein said. “I’m getting adjusted to a new city, a new team, new teammates, linemates, all those things. It’s been good, but I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.” …Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer says the competition between second-year punter Brett Kern and rookie Britton Colquitt is “neck-and-neck” and could come down to a decision following the final exhibition.


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