As training camp begins to wind down and the team prepares for their 2nd preseason game against Houston this weekend, not much activity was expected to come from the Broncos front office today. At this point in camp, the majority of teams focus on evaluating their current roster, not adding to it. With up to 90 spots on a roster being filled for camp, it’s paramount for every player to make the most of their practice opportunities. The last thing any fringe player wants is to hear that new players are coming to the team in the middle of camp. Earlier today, we were informed of two interesting transactions that could potentially play a role in how the final 53 man roster will be molded.
The first transaction was to place defensive lineman Marvin Austin Jr. on Injured Reserve, ending his season.
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Marvin Austin Jr. (76) against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
His roster status was dealt a gigantic blow when he began dealing with a groin injury shortly after camp began, barring him from seeing the field. It’s a tough break for a guy who has a lengthy injury history. Look for Darius Kilgo and/or Sione Fua to have a larger role on the defensive line this season in Austin’s absence. To take Austin’s roster spot, the Broncos’ 2nd transaction of the day was claiming TE Jake Murphy off of waivers from the Bengals.
A 2nd year TE, the 6’4, 250 lb Murphy spent much of last season on the Bengals practice squad after being in training camp with the Raiders last summer. According to his profile from the 2014 NFL Combine, he is a sure handed TE with some blocking ability and best projects in the NFL as a TE/HB hybrid. Sound familiar?
Where does Jake Murphy stand on the roster? Hard to say.
At this point, I think they just want a better look at him with the possibility of stashing him on the Practice Squad if he shows something. They must have seen him as a TE with the hybrid potential that they’re looking for in the position and figured that he was worth bringing in with the open roster spot. It’ll be interesting to see how that, along with many other position battles play out at the end of the preseason. If this shows us anything, it’s that the people in the Broncos front office are never done scouring the field for more players.