ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Rookie quarterback Tim Tebow's first foray into an NFL end zone appears to have left him with injured ribs.
Denver's rookie quarterback missed his first practice of training camp on Wednesday after jogging off the field during warmups. While the Broncos aren't saying what's wrong with their first-round draft pick from Florida, Tebow might be feeling the effects of his game-ending 7-yard touchdown run in his pro debut Sunday night.
After absorbing several hard hits, Tebow powered his way into the end zone on the game's final play, smacking into Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Abdul Hodge to the goal line and bowling over Kyries Hebert, leaving the safety woozy with his mouth guard lying on the ground at his feet.
Wearing flak jacket-like extra passing around his ribs this week, Tebow participated in both workouts Tuesday when the Broncos reconvened at Dove Valley but he skipped the post-practice wind sprints.
About 10 minutes into warmups on Wednesday, Tebow huddled with head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos and appeared to be favoring his left rib cage or abdomen as he jogged off the field and into the team's headquarters.
He didn't return to practice, after which the team scrubbed his scheduled gathering with reporters.
Coach Josh McDaniels left the field without comment, and in keeping with the team's policy not to discuss the reasons for absences from practices, team spokesman Patrick Smyth said he couldn't disclose why Tebow missed the workout.
Tebow is the latest big name in the Broncos' injury epidemic, joining a long list that includes NFL sackmaster Elvis Dumervil, who might miss the entire season with a torn chest muscle, and the team's top three tailbacks, two of whom got hurt in the first hour of training camp.
"I don't want to focus on that right now," Quinn said when asked about the latest injury. "I'm just focusing on getting better and getting ready for Detroit."
The Broncos, who wrap up training camp Thursday, face the Lions in their home exhibition opener on Saturday night, but Tebow's home debut might not come until later.
"That's kind of the nature of the beast. I've been on teams where it feels like your whole team's hurt. I don't think we're much different from a lot of other teams in the league right now," defensive lineman Justin Bannan said. "It's just a grind. You get to about three weeks into camp and it's just a struggle to get it over with and get it done."
Before practice, McDaniels said he was planning to play Tebow this weekend about the same as he did in the preseason opener -- most of the second half. Those plans could change now, delaying Tebow's home debut until Aug. 29 against Pittsburgh.