Jackson's strained calf adds to Denver D-line woes

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos' biggest area of concern is their defensive line, where starting end Derek Wolfe is facing a four-game drug suspension.

Midway through the first day of training camp, fellow defensive end Malik Jackson, who actually logged more snaps than Wolfe last year, strained his left calf.

Jackson missed the rest of practice but attended the evening walkthrough and said afterward he was confident the injury was minor.

''Fortunately for me it happened on the first day,'' Jackson said. ''So I have a lot of time.''

Jackson, who got hurt during a pass-rush drill, said, ''Next year I'll come back sooner, two weeks sooner just to get my body acclimated. ... I just think my body wasn't used to going out there and going that fast again.''

Jackson said he has to be patient especially with Wolfe missing the first four regular season games.

''Our D-line's getting kind of low,'' Jackson said. ''Luckily, we've got Antonio (Smith) back and a bunch of young guys are coming along and Vance (Walker) and Kenny Anunike. But it's just that I have a lot of expectations for myself this year. So, doing this is a setback but also a blessing in disguise that it happened the first day so I have time to get it right.''

Smith was held out of OTAs and Denver's minicamp this summer after news surfaced of a criminal sexual complaint against him in Texas. The Broncos consulted with the league office and are allowing Smith to attend training camp because Smith hasn't been charged or arrested in the case.

Smith said he's confident his name will be cleared and that he'll be with the Broncos all season.

Wolfe is allowed to participate in camp and preseason games before beginning his month-long suspension.

''I'm disappointed in myself. I let the fans down, I let my teammates down, my coaches and the whole organization,'' Wolfe said. ''At the end of the day, I'm going to sit out four games and I'm going to come back strong. Like I said, I'm going to be (ticked) off and I'm going to be hungry.''

Asked what caused the failed drug test, Wolfe said, ''We're not going to talk about that right now. It was personal issues I was dealing with, and I dealt with it in a manner that I shouldn't have. I'm just going to move past it. I just want to talk about football.''

Because it was a performance-enhancer, Wolfe will be banned from the Broncos facilities during his suspension.

''I'm going to train every day, twice a day,'' Wolfe said, ''and I'll come back in even better shape than I left camp.''

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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