Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Nathan Palmer (13) before the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t probably the circumstance that Denver Broncos wide receiver Nathan Palmer had envisioned for his first call up to the active roster of the Denver Broncos, but he’ll take it.
Whether by way of injury, suspension, or what have you, players from the Denver Broncos’ practice squad have been called up an abnormally large amount in recent years, it seems.
The depth of the roster is such that the Broncos feel comfortable not having to spend the extra money to go for outside, veteran free agents all the time, even though they have done that in the past as well.
When Wes Welker found out he was banned the first four games, it provided an opening on the Broncos’ 53-man roster for a month and a week. For Nathan Palmer, it likely means extra reps in practice and a spot on the sideline on gamedays, but he will take it.
Last season, Palmer was signed to the Broncos’ practice squad after they had some shuffling going on at the receiver position, losing Tavarres King to the Panthers and then switching out Chad Bumphis with Palmer. Palmer was a playmaker at Northern Illinois before going undrafted and getting signed by the San Francisco 49ers.
He wound up on the Colts’ active roster in 2012, and surfaced on the Dolphins’ practice squad before switching to the Broncos in 2013. He made the trip for the Super Bowl, participated in media day, and was rocking orange and blue before many of you probably even had a clue as to who he is.
The 5’11” 198 pound receiver was nearly invisible in preseason action, at least from what I was watching. It’s tough for the Broncos to get every receiver involved because teams were blitzing Brock Osweiler and the backup offensive line was giving him milliseconds to throw the ball.
All excuses aside, it seemed like Palmer was just another player cut down at the time of final cuts. When the Broncos signed him to the practice squad again, I’ll be honest and say I was a bit surprised. I just didn’t quite see it. He had one catch for seven yards in the preseason, and wasn’t able to separate himself as a kick or punt returner.
It’s clear on tape that Palmer has speed and quickness, we just didn’t get to see a ton of him with the ball in his hands.
It remains to be seen if Palmer will dress for any of his games as a member of the Broncos’ active roster, but what an accomplishment for a guy who had been on four teams in a matter of just over a year to get a slot on the active roster of the best team in football.