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Unhappy WR Marshall misses Broncos' practice because of soreness

Disgruntled Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall missed practice Tuesday for health reasons.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Disgruntled Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall missed practice Tuesday for health reasons.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Marshall's absence was simply a "precautionary measure" after he was sore following the team's first workout for rookies and rehabbers the previous day.

Marshall had offseason hip surgery, but McDaniels wouldn't elaborate on whether that's what bothered the Pro Bowl wideout.

"There's just a little residual soreness," McDaniels said.

The mercurial Marshall has made it clear that he's unhappy in Denver. He skipped all the offseason workouts to protest his contract and for what he believes was a misdiagnosis of his hip injury by the Broncos' medical staff.

Marshall posted a farewell to Denver fans on his blog last month. That came soon after his agent, Kennard McGuire, said Broncos owner Pat Bowlen had informed Marshall in a private meeting that he would try to accommodate the receiver's trade request.

Yet Marshall remains with the Broncos.

The Broncos already have dealt one disgruntled player, trading quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears after his rift with McDaniels, but Marshall doesn't have the same kind of leverage. He faces health and legal issues, including an Aug. 13 trial in Atlanta on a misdemeanor battery charge. A conviction could lead to his second suspension from the NFL, which banned him from the opener last season following a series of domestic disputes.

In a news conference Monday, Marshall displayed his discontent through body language and quick quips on questions. Then he missed practice Tuesday.

However, McDaniels insisted it was purely for health reasons.

"This was just a decision we made as an organization," McDaniels said. "When he's healthy, and we feel comfortable with him, he'll be out there."

As for when that might be, McDaniels didn't know. The veterans report Thursday, with the first practice in pads the next day, marking the official start of training camp.

Although Marshall might be dissatisfied now, fellow wide receiver Brandon Stokley believes that when it's time to get down to business, his teammate will be the player who has turned in two straight 100-catch seasons.

"Once you see Brandon on the field, he's going to give 100 percent like he always has," said Stokley, who paid a social visit to Dove Valley on Tuesday. "We definitely need him out there to win games this year. He's going to be a big addition."

If Marshall were to hold out, he'd be subject to daily fines of $15,888.

The Broncos also were missing their two first-round draft picks, running back Knowshon Moreno and defensive end Robert Ayers. It's the second straight day of camp that they have missed because they haven't yet signed contracts.

McDaniels said it's just a matter of other first-round picks falling in line across the league.

"We're in constant communication and trying to work toward a resolution to get both players in here as fast as possible," McDaniels said. "I think that benefits them, and it obviously benefits our team."

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