ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Veteran wide receiver Clifford Russell was Denver's biggest surprise cut Saturday when the Broncos reached their roster limit and bid a 10-day farewell to Brandon Marshall, who began serving his suspension for violating the league's personal conduct code.
Russell was tied with Marshall and Michael Pittman for the team lead with 10 catches in the preseason and looked like a lock as the No. 5 receiver. But the Broncos decided to go into their opener at Oakland with just four wide receivers: holdover Brandon Stokley, and newcomers Darrell Jackson, Eddie Royal and Keary Colbert.
While quarterback Jay Cutler won't have many targets against the Raiders on Sept. 8, he will have plenty of protection.
The Broncos kept three tight ends - Nate Jackson, Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler - and 10 offensive linemen, including 37-year-old center Tom Nalen, who missed most of last season with an arm injury and almost all of training camp with a balky left knee that has required two surgeries since June.
The Broncos placed rookie running back Anthony Alridge (left foot) and starting fullback Cecil Sapp (left thigh) on the reserve/injured list.
Alridge was expected to split snaps with Selvin Young and Andre Hall in the backfield this season, and he ran 23 times for 110 yards in the preseason finale Friday night at Arizona but was injured in the second half.
Denver also moved tight end Brett Pierce (left ankle) to its waived/injured list.
Rookie Brett Kern won the punting job over Sam Paulescu, and No. 3 quarterback Darrell Hackney was cut one day after completing 17 of 26 passes for 208 yards in Denver's 28-14 win over the Cardinals. The Broncos are hoping Hackney clears waivers and signs on to their practice squad again.
Another player will have to be cut when Marshall returns to the roster on Sept. 9.
The Broncos are breathing a sigh of relief that they'll only be without their playmaker for one game.
Marshall, who was arrested three times in a one-year span, originally was penalized three games but it was reduced on appeal to a single game and two paychecks, totaling $52,352.
``I'm pleased with the decision. It could be a lot worse,'' Marshall said Friday night. ``But you know it's all about me staying in shape mentally and physically the week I'm out and being there for my teammates and getting San Diego when I get back.''
Marshall is set to make his debut Sept. 14 at home against San Diego, two days before he's scheduled to go on trial on a drunken driving charge.
Had he not won his appeal, Marshall's ban from team headquarters might have lasted as long as a month. He declined to discuss the case he made during his appeal to get his suspension reduced.
``That's the past now and it's just time to move forward. I'm just excited about what we're going to do as a team,'' Marshall said.
And he insisted the Broncos won't miss him in Oakland, either.
``At the wide receiver position we're so deep that there's not going to be a drop-off,'' he suggested. ``We all bring something to the table that's a little different. I'm excited to see those guys go out there and play and make big plays against Oakland.''
---
AP Sports Writer Bob Baum contributed to this report from Glendale, Ariz.

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Most Passing Yards Prop Odds Will Tom Brady record the most passing yards in the Conference Championship games this Sunday?
Thumbnail NFC Championship Game Spread Moves The point spread in Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles has moved off a key number.
Thumbnail Bettors Split on NFC Title Game After the Eagles upset a public favorite last weekend in the Divisional Round, public bettors are split on whether or not Philly will thrive in the dog role again...
Thumbnail Early Money on Pats to Cover in AFC Early money is coming in on the New England Patriots to cover the spread against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game...
Thumbnail Eagles to Play Underdog Role Again The Eagles will have another opportunity to wear their dog masks this week as they've opened up as an underdog against the Vikings in...

NFL Team Pages