NFL

Broncos lose safety Carter for season

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)

Second-year safety Quinton Carter needs another surgery on his left knee and is done for the season. The Denver Broncos placed him on injured reserve Saturday.

PAIN TRAIN

Injuries are a part of football, but these players have been hit particularly hard.

With Carter hurt and linebacker Joe Mays suspended for Sunday's game against Oakland, the Broncos promoted two players from their practice squad in rookie safety Duke Ihenacho and second-year linebacker Mike Mohamed.

Mays was suspended for one game and fined $50,000 for an illegal hit on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub last week.

Denver has been fined more than $150,000 in the first three weeks of the season, with coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio getting theirs for verbal abuse of the replacement officials. They are appealing. Fox had never been fined in his two dozen years of coaching in the NFL.

Carter started 10 games last season, then collected interceptions in the Broncos' playoff games against Pittsburgh and New England. But a torn right hamstring at an indoor practice July 27 led doctors to discover he needed arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which had bothered him since last season.

Carter told The Associated Press during training camp that he hurt his left knee in a game against New England on Dec. 18 but even though it grew more and more painful, MRIs hid the injury until July, when he pulled his hamstring inside the team's practice bubble during a rainstorm.

FOUR SCORE

Week 4 of the NFL season is here and we have all the best images.

Therefore, he called his pulled hamstring a blessing because it led to his knee surgery: ''Of course, it's a setback. But it's a great setback. I feel like I've been doing a lot of learning. To come back without a limp or anything, I think it will help me out to be a better player,'' Carter said last month.

He returned Aug. 30 but played mostly on special teams this season (53 plays) with Rahim Moore and Mike Adams the starting safeties. Carter only played 15 defensive snaps in three games, including just one Sunday, before aggravating his surgically repaired knee.

Veteran Keith Brooking is expected to start at middle linebacker Sunday in a crucial matchup of 1-2 teams. He had been sharing time with Wesley Woodyard at weakside linebacker.

Strongside linebacker Von Miller also was fined this week, docked $15,750 for driving Schaub to the ground one play before Mays' big hit took off a piece of the quarterback's left ear.

Mays joins linebacker D.J. Williams and tight end Virgil Green on the suspended list.

refs

NOW WHAT?

What can replacement refs do now? We've got a few suggestions.

Green, who can return Monday, and Williams were suspended for violating the league's banned-substances policy. Williams must miss the first six games of the season, and commissioner Roger Goodell could add more games to that punishment following the linebacker's recent conviction of driving while ability impaired.

Running back Knowshon Moreno on Friday pleaded guilty to a similar charge and was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and a year's probation in addition to community service and fines and court fees, KUSA-TV in Denver reported.

Police have said Moreno was driving 70 mph in a construction zone where the speed limit was 45 mph in February. He originally was charged with drunken driving and careless driving but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

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

Tagged: Broncos, D.J. Williams, Joe Mays, Quinton Carter

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