Only 2 QB's?
The first thing I expect to happen is for the Broncos to release QB Zac Dysert. Keeping 3 on the active roster would compound what I think is a mistake in the Broncos keeping 5 RB's. Remember that our roster math dictates the Broncos only carry 24 offensive players to the active roster. They could keep more, and that number could be 25 depending on how you label Trindon Holliday, but historically under John Elway, the Broncos have kept about 25 players on defense (8 DL, 7 LB, 10 DB). That leaves 3 more spots for the specialists, and by default 25 more players for offense. Take away Trindon Holliday and that gives you 24.
Historically, the Broncos have also kept 9 offensive linemen the past two years. With all the uncertainty surrounding injured players to go along with unsettled depth behind the starting 5, I would have to think they will keep 9 once again.
5 RB's and 9 OL take 14 spots which leads me to the next possibility...
Only 3 TE's?
I've long contended that the Broncos would take 4 TE's to the active roster. Well, keeping 5 RB's throws a kink into that line of thinking. If the Broncos were to keep 9 OL, expect someone from the TE ranks to be cut. Just who exactly? Well it probably won't be Julius Thomas. Thomas and Welker make Tamme more expendable. Joel Dreessen is a big unknown with this injury. I would think Virgil Green is safe. I might have to eat crow here as with CJ Anderson. There is now a strong possibility that the Broncos will make what John Fox called a "Tough Decision" within this position group.
OL: Who are the backups?
Assuming they take 9, you have the starting 5 plus 4 spots open. One spot goes to OT Chris Clark. Three left. I think Steve Vallos is safe as the 2nd team C who can also play guard. Two left. The Broncos still seem vested in Chris Kuper after his entire base salary restructure for 2013 is fully guaranteed. One left. Blake, Davis, Moffitt, and Lilja are all fighting for one spot. Blake is gone-he stinks. Of the three Lilja might have the inside track due to his experience with Peyton Manning. He however looked the weakest out of all the backups on Thursday. So bad in fact that it caught the attention of Tom Nalen:
The Ring of Fame center agrees. RT @TomNalen: ryan lilja getting ragdolled, as usual. has no idea how to hold— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 30, 2013
Cross him off. Between Davis and Moffitt. Toss a coin. I took Moffitt yesterday. I might take Davis today.
Your four backups then would be Clark, Vallos, Kuper, and Davis errr or Moffitt
Defense a Lock?
Pretty Close. Here is my list:
Ayers, Wolfe, Jackson, Smith, Phillips, Sly, Vick, Knighton, Unrein
Irving, Woodyard, Trevathan, Johnson, Bradley, other
Champ, DRC, Harris Jr., T. Carter, Webster
Moore, Ihenacho, Adams, Bruton, Bolden
What do I mean by other at LB?
Paris Lenon is exactly who we think he is. An old vet that knows the rope but who's physical deterioration due to age has left him incapable of playing the game at a high level. I don't want this guy sniffing the field against a starting caliber offense.
I would expect for the Broncos to go out and get someone else. Once the smoke clears, there has to be someone better than this guy to play linebacker.
I have no clue what the Broncos intend to do with LB Lerentee McCray. It all depends on how serious his injury is. If he'll only be out a couple of weeks me might stick to the starting roster and that would solve the Paris Lenon problem because Steven Johnson could slide back into the backup Mike spot.
Maybe the Broncos stash Kuper on the IR designated to return list? They couldn't do this until Sept. 4th which would mean that the Broncos would have to make room for him on the initial 53 man roster. It would also allow them to bring back someone they would cut today, so long as that player remains available. In case you're wondering what that would mean for Kuper, this is from a previous article I wrote regarding IR/PUP rules:
- The designated player is eligible to return to practice if he has been on IR for at least six weeks from the date he was placed on that list.
- The designated player is eligible to return to the active list if he has been on IR for at least eight weeks from the date he was placed on that list.
Stay tuned to MHR as we bring you live coverage of all the moves and transactions the Denver Broncos make on their way down to 53.
(The Broncos have until 4 PM Mountain Time to cut down to 53 players)