The Denver Broncos have been very fortunate to retain some players worth developing, and Isaiah McKenzie came back to the team’s practice squad.
The Denver Broncos have been quite fortunate in their ability to retain certain players that have hit the waiver wire over the past few weeks.
Since the team cut down to 53 players, they have managed to sneak every single player that seemed to have a good chance of getting claimed or signed to another team’s active roster. Some have passed through more than once.
One player who has passed through waivers twice now is wide receiver/punt returner Isaiah McKenzie, who was vying for the Broncos’ sixth wide receiver spot this preseason as well as for primary punt return duties.
There was no question McKenzie looked vastly improved as a punt returner in the preseason, but a fumble late against the Chicago Bears on an offensive play potentially deterred the Broncos’ confidence ever so slightly.
With that said, the Broncos have clearly not given up hope for McKenzie yet. He was waived on Monday to make room for Shamarko Thomas on the active 53-man roster, but was brought back to the practice squad according to a couple of reports.
McKenzie has been through quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. He was let go by the Broncos when they initially cut the roster down to 53 players, and after the roster was finalized, he was brought back when safety Su’a Cravens was placed on injured reserve.
He held that 53rd roster spot for a week before getting let go on Monday and brought back to the practice squad on Wednesday.
That’s likely where he will remain, at least for a few weeks. The Broncos have to have the end goal in mind with their wide receiver position, meaning they have to look at the future where Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are going to count a lot against the salary cap.
One game into the regular season, it looks like it would be a bad idea to let go of either one of those guys, but the Broncos have two very talented young players in Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton waiting in the wings.
McKenzie, however, is part of the future for this team. At least, that’s the hope. He hasn’t proven much as a receiver yet and has obviously only proven to be a liability on punt returns in regular season action. But he looked really good in the preseason on returns and if he can continue to improve as a receiver, there will be a place for him yet.
The same is true for 2017 third-round pick Carlos Henderson.
Now, both players are on the practice squad and trying to hone their craft and work their way into a gameday role for the team that believed so highly in them in the 2017 NFL Draft.