Former Broncos QB Tripucka passes away

Denver Broncos Ring of Fame quarterback Frank Tripucka passed away Thursday morning at the age of 85.

"Frank Tripucka was an original Denver Bronco and Ring of Famer who was the first to quarterback the team," the Broncos said in a statement released Thursday. "He laid the foundation for the Broncos' future success as an American Football League All-Star, twice leading the league in passing yards and setting numerous single-game and career records. He is proudly remembered as one of professional football's first great drop-back quarterbacks."

In his four seasons in Denver, Tripucka passed for 7,676 yards, a total that still ranks seventh in franchise history.

Recently, Tripucka was back in the news when he gave his blessing for current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to wear his No. 18, which had been retired, when Manning joined the team in 2012.