Broncos add a new running back before final preseason game

Denver Broncos, Devine Ozigbo - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Devine Ozigbo - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

After the first couple of preseason games, it became clear that the Denver Broncos needed to add someone at the running back position, probably multiple players. During the team’s loss against the Buffalo Bills, backup running backs JaQuan Hardy and Stevie Scott just didn’t look good enough even to be practice squad considerations at the moment, so the Broncos went out and brought someone in for the final preseason game.

On Monday, the Broncos claimed running back Devine Ozigbo off of waivers from the New Orleans Saints, making him — at the time of this writing — the sixth running back on the roster. Though that’s almost certain to change in the coming hours as the Broncos have to go from 85 players on the roster to 80.

Denver Broncos add RB Devine Ozigbo to the active roster

Ozigbo was a riser in the pre-draft process back in 2019. There were a lot of people really surprised to see him fall out of the NFL Draft completely at the time, but he’s kind of had the career path of an undrafted running back since 2019. Coming out of Nebraska, Ozigbo showed really good athleticism, explosiveness, and speed for his size.

His recent stint with the Saints was actually his third stint with the team. The Saints originally acquired Ozigbo after the 2019 NFL Draft as a free agent, but he ended up with the Jaguars from 2019-2020 before bouncing around between the Saints, Jaguars, and Patriots in 2021.

Broncos special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes was with the Jaguars from 2019-2020 when Ozigbo was on the roster there. Even though Stukes was a defensive assistant, perhaps he took note of Ozigbo’s abilities on special teams at that time and can vouch for his ability to contribute there.

One way or the other, Ozigbo’s experience over the last few years certainly gives him an edge over JaQuan Hardy or Stevie Scott. Neither of those guys has shown anything so far in the preseason to get anyone overly excited about their potential to contribute down the road at some point.

With 16 practice squad spots available, the Broncos could end up keeping a couple of running backs and I’m sure they’re scouting the 31 other teams right now to see which guys are on the bubble with other teams and which guys could come in and make an impact. As it turns out, the loss of Damarea Crockett was a bit bigger than we initially may have imagined.