The Denver Broncos have injury problems up and down the roster on both sides of the ball. At this point, if it’s a war on attrition, the Denver Broncos would be waving the proverbial white flag. This team has had more injury problems in 2022 than anyone in the NFL could endure, in all likelihood, and that has extended to the team’s defensive line.
The Broncos placed Jonathan Harris on injured reserve recently and head coach Nathaniel Hackett announced on Thursday that starter DJ Jones was dealing with a shoulder issue. The Broncos will certainly need reinforcements on the defensive line but instead of signing McTelvin Agim to the 53-man roster, they poached an intriguing player off the Los Angeles Rams practice squad.
Denver Broncos poach Elijah Garcia from Rams practice squad
At 6-foot-5 and over 300 pounds, Garcia has 35-inch arms and a tremendous wingspan. The undrafted rookie out of Rice finished his college career with a monster senior season, racking up 67 total tackles, five sacks, 33 QB pressures, and nine QB hits. He also added 5.5 tackles for loss.
Although Garcia doesn’t have direct ties to current Broncos defensive line coach Marcus Dixon, the Rams are obviously still running similar concepts now to what the Broncos are running and Garcia should be able to contribute rather quickly.
What kind of contributions can we expect? That remains to be seen. The defensive line has been one of the units the Broncos have mostly been able to count on week in and week out in terms of overall health and depth with the top four players — Dre’Mont Jones, DJ Jones, Mike Purcell, and DeShawn Williams — staying healthy most of the year to this point.
Now, with DJ Jones’ status for the Chiefs game in question, as well as the health of Jonathan Harris and potentially even Matt Henningsen, Denver needed to call on reinforcements. Seeing as the team is in something of an evaluation mode at this point, why not give this guy a shot on the defensive line?
The only thing that wouldn’t be great is if the Broncos immediately gave Garcia a bunch of snaps over fourth-round pick Eyioma Uwazurike. Snaps have been hard to come by this season for Uwazurike, a player some expected could make it into the starting lineup before his rookie season was done. So far, that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
The Denver Broncos may not fire general manager George Paton, but evidence is piling up against him the more time goes along.
We’ll see what the rotation looks like this weekend against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. One thing we know to be certain — the Denver defense needs guys that can put the heat on Mahomes. We’ll see if Garcia is up to the task.