AP Pro Football Writer
DENVER (AP) -- Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is expected to start in Thursday's season opener against the Baltimore Ravens despite revelations of his arrest last week.
Thomas had been stopped for speeding on Aug. 28 and was then arrested for failing to appear in court for a traffic citation earlier this year, Arapahoe County sheriff's Capt. Glenn Thompson said. A deputy issued a citation to Thomas for allegedly going 57 mph in a 40 mph zone and he was released on $500 bond the same day of his arrest, which was first reported by The Denver Post.
Thomas is scheduled in court on Sept. 12.
Records show that Thomas missed a March 21 court hearing for a citation issued Jan. 25 for failing to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.
"We were notified of the issue involving Julius Thomas when it occurred on Aug. 28. It was addressed internally and is being resolved," the Broncos said in a statement.
The arrest of Thomas, a third-year player who earned his starting position during the preseason, is the latest embarrassment for a franchise that has made plenty of off-the-field news this summer.
Executive Vice President John Elway's top two assistants, Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, were suspended following separate arrests for drunken driving. Then, All-Pro linebacker Von Miller was suspended six games for violating the league's drug-abuse policy.
Miller's troubles were exacerbated last month when he was arrested at a firearms shop near the Broncos' practice facility on a warrant for failing to appear in court on Dec. 31 for an October traffic stop. He had been charged with careless driving and not having a license or proof of insurance.
Thomas had a terrific training camp to earn a prominent role in Denver's offense. He capitalized on the extra work he got because of injuries to last year's starters at tight end, Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, to build a budding rapport with quarterback Peyton Manning.
Tamme and Dreessen combined for 93 catches, 911 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but it was Thomas, a third-year pro with just one career catch, who stood out this summer.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound former power forward for Portland State is finally healthy after spending the bulk of his first two seasons in Denver dealing with a bum right ankle.
When Elway remarked recently that he was "truly jealous of the weapons that Peyton gets to throw to," he made sure to mention Julius Thomas along with wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Associated Press newsman P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.
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