DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib to open camp on non-football injury list

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When the Denver Broncos go through their first full training camp practice Thursday, they'll be without two Pro Bowl defensive players.

Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and cornerback Aqib Talib will open camp on the non-football injury list and will not practice until they are medically cleared.

Ware, who missed five games last season with back troubles, missed much of the team's offseason program with a back injury. Talib suffered two gunshot wounds to his leg in a shooting incident in early June in Dallas.

The non-football injury designation means each player suffered his injury away from a team activity and that the injury has, or will, keep the player out of practice for an extended period of time.

Talib is still working back with the Broncos' medical staff, so the team's designation of him was not a surprise, but Ware's designation as an "NFI'' was.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had expressed at least some optimism as the offseason program drew to a close last month that if the Broncos held Ware out of OTAs and the team's minicamp, he might then be ready to participate on a limited basis when training camp opens.

The Broncos are now pointing toward the regular season with Ware.

"I think [the Broncos' medical staff] feels very good about the direction we're headed," Kubiak said. "As far as him being ready to go and getting him ready to go for the start of the regular season, we're heading in the right direction. Obviously, he's going to miss a little time right here as we work him into it."

The Broncos still believe Talib could practice at some point in training camp or the preseason. However, when asked if Talib could still face NFL discipline for the shooting incident, Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway said, "I don't know," adding that he had "one conversation" with Talib about the incident.

The Dallas Police Department investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

"That's going to be a situation where we continue to look at it," Elway said. "We'll continue to rehab and see how that goes."