D.J. Williams gets reps while waiting for courts

To mark the final week of training camp, Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams finally got to participate.

"We want to get him up to speed. We don't want to totally waste his time," coach John Fox said after practice Monday. "Eventually he'll be back."

Williams was a Broncos starter through his first eight seasons, but until Monday had done little in camp nine except observe and absorb.

Blame the inertia on his pending NFL-issued, six-game suspension stemming from a failed drug test. In all, Williams' troubles has led him to the Holy Trinity of local court appearances — U.S. District Court in the Colorado District; Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver; and Denver County Court.

The Broncos are operating as if Williams' six-game suspension is a done deal even if there remains a slim chance it could be stayed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

His first lawsuit against the league was dismissed by a U.S. District Court in Colorado District, but he appealed that decision to the Circuit Court.

Williams' lawyers have filed their briefing with a request for an expedited hearing but the Circuit Court has yet to respond.

Williams, who ignored a request for comment as he walked off the practice field Monday, is essentially using the "Ryan Braun" defense, citing chain-of-custody errors in his lawsuit against the NFL.

Meanwhile, Williams' trial for driving under the influence and other traffic charges is scheduled for Wednesday in the Denver County Court, although there is a chance the case again will be continued. The incident in question occurred Nov. 12, 2010, when police allege Williams was spotted driving at 3 a.m. with his headlights off.

With the 2012 season approaching, the Broncos couldn't wait for Williams' cases to drag through the legal system. Prior to camp, Broncos football operations boss John Elway and Fox met with Williams to reveal their plan.

"We've got a plan for here (in camp), and we'll have a plan when he's gone," Fox said.

Williams' suspension is to start with the setting of the 53-man roster Sept. 1, at which point he must leave the team's facility. He would not be able to return until after the Broncos play their Week 6 game on Oct. 15 at San Diego.

Although the NFL personal conduct policy could come into play, Williams should be available to the Broncos on Oct. 16.

"I mean, if it wasn't for his suspension, he'd be with the first team," Fox said. "He's a very talented player."

But because Williams is facing a likely suspension, the team initiated an alternative from the first day of camp. Wesley Woodyard has taken most of Williams' first-team reps in camp and last week the Broncos signed veteran Keith Brooking who is a weakside linebacker by trade.

The Broncos' first six games is so loaded with formidable opponents — Pittsburgh, at Atlanta, Houston, Oakland (which has won four consecutive games in Denver), at New England and at San Diego _ it's like a postseason schedule times two.

Williams will be able to use a bye week to get back in shape before the Broncos play game 7 against the New Orleans Saints.

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