5 Broncos players that hurt their final roster chances against the Vikings

Denver Broncos, Brett Rypien - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Brett Rypien - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tough decisions now need to be made regarding the Denver Broncos‘ 53-man roster after the team’s preseason victory over the Minnesota Vikings. General manager George Paton admitted during the game that the majority of the 53 spots are decided at this point, and that’s understandable. The Broncos are a deep team and they didn’t have a ton of spots up for grabs to begin with.

The biggest questions with the roster and usually the areas where you tend to make some errors in predicting (which I did here, check it out) is with players that are hurt and you can’t really know the severity of the injuries until after the fact. For example, I included Netane Muti in my final roster prediction but he’s been on the mend after arthroscopic knee surgery that was expected to sideline him for 3-4 weeks. He should be ready for the season opener, but do the Broncos value him higher than a veteran like Cameron Fleming right now?

Some of the decisions to make roster cuts were certainly made over the course of the preseason with the tape these players put out there. Unfortunately, roster spots with the Broncos are going to be tough to come by and after what we saw against the Vikings, there are a few players projected to make the roster at some point that I think didn’t quite do enough to earn a spot. Let’s take a look at five of them.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, Josh Johnson – Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos roster faller vs. Vikings no. 1: Josh Johnson, QB

Dating back to the first preseason game, I haven’t been 100 percent sold on Josh Johnson as the QB2 of the Denver Broncos. His story is incredible, and I think there’s undoubtedly a spot for Johnson on the Broncos’ practice squad, but I don’t think we saw the consistency from him that we needed to in order to definitively say he’s the team’s backup to Russell Wilson. Now, there’s more that goes into that with how Johnson works with Wilson in the quarterback room and what he brings to the table in that regard, but ultimately, your backup quarterback has to be someone you’re either developing or someone you believe can keep the ship afloat for 4-5 games if the need arises.

Is Johnson that guy for the Broncos? We’ll see. 9News insider Mike Klis made an interesting note during the preseason broadcast that he doesn’t know if the Broncos’ backup quarterback is currently on the roster, meaning he wasn’t sure if it was going to be either Johnson or Brett Rypien.

Johnson didn’t do anything egregious or outstanding in the preseason finale in which he played the second half while Rypien started and played in the first half. He checked the ball down quite a bit and moved the offense into scoring range and I’m not sure what we expected, but both quarterbacks were kind of underwhelming in a game where they were presumably fighting for the same job.

As things currently stand, I think the Broncos would have an easier time getting Johnson to the practice squad than they would Rypien, who would have to clear waivers. Johnson is a vested veteran and would be released outright. He could choose to sign with any other team but the Broncos only guaranteed Johnson $100,000 and Rypien isn’t guaranteed anything. If money talks, then the Broncos have spoken very clearly about their backup QB situation at this point.