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Trevathan's back: Breaking down Denver's four Saturday roster transactions

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Trevathan's return is good news for Denver's defense.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos were busy on Saturday.

Denver activated Danny Trevathan and Dominique Jones to the 53-man roster, placing Montee Ball and Quinton Carter on injured reserve to make room. After activating Jones, Denver now has one open spot on the team's ten-man practice squad.

Below, I examine how today's four transactions will affect the team going forward:

Who will replace Quinton Carter?

On special teams, Denver has a host of options to replace Carter—those positions can fluctuate week-to-week. On defense, his replacement is more obvious.

Carter was inactive last week and was replaced on defense by David Bruton.

Player

Position

Season Total

Week 13

Week 14

Quinton Carter

Dime/Nickel

218

26

0

David Bruton

Dime/Nickel

73

0

59

Tony Carter

Dime/Nickel

66

27

6

Omar Bolden

Dime/Nickel

31

0

0

Bruton, a special teams ace, is the most likely candidate to replace Carter as Denver's third safety option going forward after performing well last week.

Who will replace Montee Ball?

This question has already been answer. C.J. Anderson has been one of the hottest RBs in the NFL in recent weeks and will remain the team's starter going forward.  Juwan Thompson is a solid relief back, and Ronnie Hillman is expected to be back in time for the playoffs, if not sooner.

Who will Danny Trevathan replace?

In Week 5—his last healthy week—Trevathan played 55 snaps on defense. Since then, Steven Johnson has played 110 snaps and Lerentee McCray has played 64 snaps. To put it simply, Denver has struggled to find a third linebacker, using T.J. Ward in select packages.

Von Miller (753 snaps, season) and Brandon Marshall (851 snaps, season) have been Denver's only consistent starters. Once fully healthy, Trevathan is expected to join them as a starter.

It remains to be seen how much Trevathan will play on Sunday. Once he returns to full strength, Denver's front seven could look something like this:

Note: I mistyped 4-3 as 3-4 in that tweet. The gist: Miller at SOLB, Marshall at MLB, and Trevathan at WOLB.

What will Dominique Jones's role be?

If Jacob Tamme (ribs) can play against San Diego, Jones may not even be active. But with Tamme and Julius Thomas battling injuries, Jones may see time on both special teams and offense this week.

Jones (6-3, 270 lbs.) went undrafted in 2011 and signed with Indianapolis as a free agent. Since then, Jones has spent time with indoor football teams and the Dolphins, Chiefs, Bills, and Denver. He has three career catches for 42 yards.

Since Jones has few receiving stats to speak of, it is expected that he will fill a blocking role on offense. If Tamme and Thomas are unable to play Sunday, Jones will join Virgil Green in helping block for Anderson and Denver's thriving run game.

Conclusion: Saturday's four roster moves will bring little immediate change, with Trevathan's return being the most notable transaction. Once fully healthy, Trevathan could prove to be a vital part of Denver's defense down the stretch.