Denver Broncos add important linebacker after Jonas Griffith injury

Denver Broncos, Joe Schobert (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Joe Schobert (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos didn’t waste much time getting another linebacker in the fold after the injury to starter Jonas Griffith in the team’s preseason opener on Saturday night. The team has confirmed a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that veteran linebacker Joe Schobert has been added to the 90-man roster.

Schobert played his college football at Wisconsin and was a fourth-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. After playing a rotational role as a rookie, Schobert became a starter by his second NFL season and has averaged 127 tackles per season along with five tackles for loss, five QB hits, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

Schobert certainly has the ability to fill up the stat sheet and he worked out for the Broncos previously before ultimately getting signed here in the middle of August with just a couple of weeks before roster cuts are due.

Joe Schobert brings much-needed presence to Denver Broncos LB group

Although opinions are all over the map regarding Schobert’s play in recent years, he brings the kind of experience and intelligence to the table that the team desperately needed for depth, regardless of Jonas Griffith’s injury. The writing for this move was already on the wall with Schobert’s workout for the team indicating mutual interest between the two parties.

Broncos fans are not strangers to Schobert’s name as many fans wanted him to sign in Denver during the 2020 offseason when he was a highly coveted free agent. He wound up signing a big-money deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars but only played there one season before heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a year.

With Schobert in the fold now, what’s going to happen with Alex Singleton and Justin Strnad? Do they both move down the depth chart? Is Schobert going to accept a backup role with this team?

Those are all fascinating questions that we won’t likely know the answers to right away.

It’s hard to imagine that Schobert would have wanted to sign on if the Broncos didn’t have an on-field role for him, but it’s also not like the injury to Jonas Griffith was season-ending, either. The Broncos will have Griffith back early in the 2022 regular season so Schobert is likely going to be in a rotation no matter what.

The good news is, Singleton and Strnad are both expected to play roles on special teams. They aren’t just going to be rotting on the bench if Schobert is the one out there getting the reps next to Josey Jewell, which I expect will happen at some point sooner or later.

Schobert is still just 28 years old and has a lot of football under his belt. His experience is going to be key for this Denver Broncos team and although some people seem really worried about his inclusion on the team, he’s joining a stellar Denver Broncos defense where he’s not going to have to be the superstar.

At this point in camp, and considering the circumstances, the Denver Broncos couldn’t expect to do a lot better than a player like Joe Schobert.