ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Denver Broncos center Tom Nalen might be out until the season opener as he continues to recover from offseason surgery on his left knee.
The 15-year veteran whose 2007 season was cut short by a torn right biceps after five games hasn't practiced since the first few days of camp. He is the only player remaining from the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl winners in the 1990s.
``Any time Tom sits out of practice it is not just another injury because it is tough to keep him out of practice,'' coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday. ``I think he has the experience where he doesn't really need the preseason games, and he is working hard in the weight room to make sure his conditioning level stays at a certain point.''
Shanahan said an MRI was negative, ruling out more surgery for now.
``Hopefully rest will be enough but we will find out in the next couple of weeks when some of the pain subsides,'' Shanahan said.
Nalen, whose five Pro Bowls are the most for a Broncos lineman, has helped Denver to the most rushing yards and the third-fewest sacks in the NFL since 1995.
He was placed on injured reserve in October with a torn right biceps. After rehabilitating that injury, he underwent knee surgery this summer.
Nalen's slow recovery has made center Casey Wiegmann the Broncos' most important free agent signing.
Wiegmann, entering his 13th NFL season, spent the last seven seasons with AFC West rival Kansas City. He started 111 consecutive games in the regular season, the longest active streak among NFL centers.
The Broncos' entire offensive line is in flux.
Only one returner played all 16 games last year - right guard Montrae Holland. He came to camp so overweight that he hasn't been allowed to practice. He's been replaced by Chris Kuper, who played left guard last year.
Second-year pro Ryan Harris is at right tackle, replacing Erik Pears, who started every game there in 2007 but is now rookie Ryan Clady's backup at left tackle, protecting quarterback Jay Cutler's blind side.
Ben Hamilton, who missed all of last season with post-concussion syndrome, is back at left guard.

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