Denver Broncos: Mark Barron may finally be ready to debut

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos may finally see what Mark Barron can do for them.

The linebacker, who was one of the team’s most intriguing offseason additions, has missed the entire season up to this point as he has been bothered by a hamstring injury. But earlier this week, the team finally activated him from injured reserve.

In a corresponding move, the Broncos parted ways with running back LeVante Bellamy. The team may look to bring Bellamy back to the practice squad. That may have also been the plan with offensive tackle Jake Rodgers, who was waived earlier in the week, but the Baltimore Ravens beat the Broncos to the punch and claimed him off waivers.

Barron was once a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Originally drafted as a safety, he can fill the hybrid linebacker role and hopefully do what no Broncos linebacker in many years has seemed to be able to do on covering a tight end.

Depending on how Barron looks during practice the rest of this week, he could make his debut in orange and blue as early as this Sunday when the Broncos host the New Orleans Saints.

Barron will likely be tasked with spelling either Alexander Johnson or Josey Jewell at one of the inside linebacker spots and he could see some extra snaps early as the defense looks to be as athletic as possible in defending the unpredictable Taysom Hill.

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Barron has played in 119 career games, making 102 starts. He  has 710 tackles during his career to go along with 12 sacks and nine interceptions. He is a versatile defender that the Broncos hope can do a little bit of everything for the defense.

It’s a shame that he has missed the team’s first 10 games but a strong performance to close the season could help him earn a long-term role in Denver. Barron signed a one-year contract with the team at the end of August, but was an effective player last season on a great Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

The Broncos will need all the help they can get on defense if they are to slow down the high-powered Saints on Sunday and if he plays, Barron is a guy to keep tabs on.