Broncos WR Marshall stays behind
SEATTLE -- Brandon Marshall's feud with the Broncos continued on Saturday, with the disgruntled wide receiver left back in Denver while the rest of the team lost a preseason game at Seattle.
"Everybody who was ready and able to play in this game was here. And everybody we deemed not ready and able stayed back home," Broncos first-year coach Josh McDaniels said late Saturday night after Denver's 27-13 loss.
The coach added he "absolutely" expected Marshall to participate when the Broncos return to practice Tuesday.
The team also left safety Brian Dawkins home. The 35-year-old Dawkins, who joined the Broncos after 13 seasons in Philadelphia, missed a week and a-half of training camp with a broken right hand that required surgery. He returned to the field a few days ago week and picked off a pass despite a cumbersome club on his hand.
Broncos rookie cornerback Alphonso Smith, a second-round pick for whom Denver traded a No. 1 pick in 2010 to Seattle to draft, left with an apparent injury to his right leg in the third quarter following a kickoff return. The Broncos said only that Smith had an injury to a "lower extremity."
Chris Simms replaced starting quarterback Kyle Orton midway through the third quarter and completed five of seven passes into the fourth period. Then impressive Seahawks rookie pass rusher Nick Reed got tangled up with a blocker and landed on Simms' left foot. Simms limped into the locker room with trainers. Rookie Tom Brandstater replaced him.
Marshall spent two days last week working almost exclusively with the scout team after saying he was nowhere near mastering the new offense.
He is upset with the Broncos over their refusal to redo his contract after consecutive 100-catch seasons or to trade him. He's also angry with their handling of his acquittal on battery charges last week.
Players were told by a staffer not to say they were happy for Marshall.
Marshall missed the preseason opener at San Francisco last week while attending his court case in Atlanta.
He boycotted the team's offseason workouts, at first to recover from March 31 hip surgery, and then in protest of his contract and what he felt was the team's misdiagnosis of his hip injury.
He pulled up lame with a hamstring injury three days into training camp and missed two weeks before returning to practice last Sunday.
His agent, Kennard McGuire, met with McDaniels this week at the team's headquarters, presumably to talk about renegotiating his contract. Neither McGuire or McDaniels would say whether a trade request was reissued this week on behalf of Marshall, however.
Coming off back-to-back 100-catch seasons, Marshall, who started in the Pro Bowl six months ago, has vastly outperformed his contract, which calls for him to make $2.2 million this year.
Now, he said he has "trust issues" with the Broncos over their handling of his acquittal.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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