With Montee Ball nursing a groin injury, the Denver Broncos made some extra room on their practice squad for a running back and added former Oakland Raider and Stanford Cardinal back Jeremy Stewart.
Playing with Andrew Luck and company on the back end of his collegiate career, Stewart was part of a running back group at Stanford led by Stepfan Taylor and others, and found himself in a bit of a logjam. He also battled some health problems at Stanford before being signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. After his stint with the Eagles, Stewart wound up with the Oakland Raiders and played 17 games for Oakland over the last two years, scoring two touchdowns (one rushing, one special teams).
Stewart seems like a big, powerful back with some quickness and explosion. He doesn’t have a large body of work even dating back to his college days, and versatility to play special teams similar to a player like Juwan Thompson, a UDFA out of Duke.
Stewart has an ability to run the ball, catch passes, return kicks, and play all areas of special teams. This is a nice pickup because he is an experienced NFL player after two years in the league with the ability to contribute as an emergency fourth back off the practice squad if the Broncos need someone to come up.
This could be a longshot, but I think the Broncos brought in Stewart in case of injury and the need to promote a back, they might not want to bring up Kapri Bibbs just yet for fear of subjecting him to waivers this season and losing him to another team. Stewart might not be as high a risk to get picked up on waivers and if the Broncos needed him to suit up on a gameday, he could play special teams and provide them some value in that regard.
It’s an interesting move, giving the Broncos six backs on the roster overall. Ball will miss some time, Juwan Thompson is recovering from injury, and the rest is unknown at this point. It’s possible the Broncos will have only two backs suited up for their game this weekend against the Jets.
To make room on the practice squad, the Broncos released offensive lineman Ryan Miller.
Aug 28, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Jeremy Stewart (32) rushes against Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports