Broncos defensive tackle Ty Warren will undergo surgery Tuesday morning to repair his partially torn right triceps.
For now, the Broncos are not placing Warren on season-ending injured reserve. Recovery time for torn triceps is three to six months. The odds aren't good, but because Warren's injury isn't a full tear, there is hope his recovery time could be closer to three months.
The best-case scenario for the Broncos is they enter the latter part of the season in playoff contention and Warren returns to play in the final four or five games.
More will be known after the operation when the team talks to his surgeon and other doctors.
Warren suffered the injury during a 9-on-7 team drill at training camp Monday. He started the day by switching his jersey number from 76 to the 94 he wore the past eight seasons with the New England Patriots.
He then lined up with the Broncos' No. 1 defense paired at tackle with Marcus Thomas. About an hour into practice, Thomas suffered a strained right pectoral muscle during a one-on-one run blocking drill. Thomas' injury will not require surgery, but he will miss the rest of preseason and possibly the first game or two in the regular season. A few minutes after Thomas' setback, Warren had a more serious injury.
Warren was a dominant defensive end in the Patriots' 3-4 system from the time he became a full-time starter in 2004 until he started battling groin injuries in 2008. He missed all of last season to recover from hip surgery. Released last month by the Patriots, Warren was pursued in free agency by the Kansas City Chiefs and Broncos. Although the Texans and Chiefs play the 3-4 defense that Warren is familiar with, he chose to play in the 4-3 system of new Broncos coach John Fox.
The Broncos gave Warren a $2.5 million signing bonus and $1.5 million salary for 2011. If they manage to receive some return on that investment, it won't be until later in the season.