- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Denver Broncos reporter
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Newly-minted Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders tweeted a picture of the group Tuesday, a photo that also included Wes Welker, Andre Caldwell and Julius Thomas. And that set off the requisite amount of social media panic in the local zip codes on the Front Range because the Broncos' No. 1 wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas, was not in the photo. Or even at Duke for that matter.
Cancel the panic. There is no rift or bubbing controversy. Thomas is still recovering from a left shoulder injury he suffered in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Thomas suffered what some with the team have described as a separated left shoulder in the Broncos' 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks when he was hit by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor in the first quarter of the 35-point loss. He played through the injury and did finish out the game with a Super Bowl record 13 catches.
Thomas could still be limited in some of the OTA work in the weeks to come, but the Broncos don't expect issues when training camp opens. Thomas had shoulder problems during the regular season as well, even leaving the Dec. 1 win over Kansas City after the first series but he did return to the lineup just before halftime.
Thomas left a 2012 game against the Raiders with a shoulder injury as well but returned in that December win.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has gathered most of the team's wide receivers and tight end Julius Thomas at Duke University this week for the well-planned headstart on the offseason work.