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Use and disuse: 2017 Broncos inactivity report

Breaking down the inactives lists for the year for the Denver Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Over the past decade the Broncos have generally gotten little or no return from their drafted rookies AS rookies (with a few years that were exceptions). I wrote a whole article on this last year. This year was a continuation of this trend with Bolles getting 1106 offensive snaps and the other three healthy rookies taking a grand total of 359 offensive or defensive snaps. Note that I used AV to tally how much value rookies had added to their team as rookies by year - I will go back and do this after the folks at assign AV’s to players for the 2017 season.

This season was odd in that we had three rookies who were “injured” all year in Carlos Henderson, Jake Butt and Chad Kelly. There was speculation at some point that Butt might have been activated, but that was quashed in the second half of the season. Chad Kelly was never going to get close to the active roster in 2017 - by design.

So let’s look at how we used the inactives slots this season. Remember that every team has 53 roster slots, but can only have 46 players active on game-day. As an aside, there is no emergency QB rule anymore allowing you to use a third game-day inactive QB if the first two QBs on the team get hurt during the game. This rule was abolished in 2011. In the games where our starting QB got hurt, Jordan Taylor would have come in at QB if the backup QB also got hurt. For the six games where Jordan Taylor was game-day inactive, I have no idea who would have taken snaps for us. I guess we would have gone “wildhorses” and just snapped the ball directly to one of our running backs for the rest of the game. Honesty, there are points during the season when that would have been much more effective than what our QBs were doing.

So below is table of who was inactive by game with color-coding to show who was inactive because they were hurt (did this from memory so I might have missed some injuries). I have also coded the guys who eventually went on IR.

We had 32 different players show up on the game-day inactive list in 2017. Four guys who showed up here eventually ended up on the IR. Two guys were eventually cut. Here is the tabulation of how often each player showed up on the list.

Player Number of games Inactive
QB 12 P.Lynch 12
RB 33 D.Henderson 11
CB 37 L.Doss 7
WR 87 J.Taylor 6
DE 57 D.Walker 6
CB 27 B.Langley 5
WR 14 C.Latimer 5
T 79 C.Kouandjio 5
T 71 D.Stephenson 5
DE 92 Z.Kerr 5
WR 84 I.McKenzie 5
WR 10 E.Sanders 4
G 77 B.Turner 4
DT 90 K.Peko 4
RB 23 D.Booker 3
TE 82 J.Heuerman 2
G 65 R.Leary 2
RB 28 J.Charles 2
ILB 51 T.Davis 2
CB 39 M.Hunter 2
NT 78 A.Rubin 2
NT 94 D.Peko 2
G 64 J.Dielman 2
QB 13 T.Siemian 1
QB 17 B.Osweiler 1
LB 43 J.Jones 1
T 71 D. Stephenson 1
T 75 M.Watson 1
TE 83 M.LaCosse 1
DE 93 J.Crick 1
DE 95 D.Wolfe 1
T 68 E.Wilkinson 1

23 of 32 guys showed up multiple times on the game-day inactive list. Paxton Lynch had the most instances with 12, but De’Angelo Henderson was close with 11. Our seven drafted rookies made 16 starts (all by Garett Bolles) and showed up on the game-day inactive list 27 times. We drafted early in each round in 2011 and the rookies from that draft DID play a lot. I would expect similar results in 2018 with our drafted rookies from 2018. We have many holes to fill in our starting roster and plenty of starters who performed poorly enough in 2017 that they could easily be supplanted by rookies in 2018.


Which if the guys who showed up the most on the game-day inactive list will have the biggest impact on the Broncos in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    De’Angelo Henderson
    (445 votes)
  • 3%
    Paxton Lynch
    (36 votes)
  • 17%
    Jordan Taylor
    (170 votes)
  • 21%
    Demarcus Walker
    (205 votes)
  • 0%
    Brendan Langley
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    Cody Latimer
    (44 votes)
  • 2%
    Cyrus Kouandjio
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Isaiah McKenzie
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    Zach Kerr
    (17 votes)
960 votes total Vote Now