Broncos sign tackle Tyler Polumbus to bolster line
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Tyler Polumbus is back among familiar faces and doesn't have to ask for directions, either.
The eight-year veteran offensive tackle returned to his hometown of Denver on Thursday, signing a one-year contract with the Broncos 48 hours after his release from the Atlanta Falcons.
Polumbus is working with Rick Dennison again, the same offensive coordinator he had in Denver in 2008 when he was an undrafted rookie out of the University of Colorado.
''Fortunately, I got to come back to some more faces that I know and that helps with the transition,'' said Polumbus, who attended Cherry Creek High School a few miles from the Broncos' training center in suburban Denver.
The Broncos signed Polumbus and released safety Josh Bush because rookie left tackle Ty Sambrailo hurt his left shoulder in the fourth quarter of Denver's 24-12 win at Detroit on Sunday and hasn't practiced all week.
They've also had to shuffle the line with veteran guards Evan Mathis (hamstring) and Louis Vasquez (knee) ailing.
''We walked out on the field Wednesday with two healthy tackles. That's a concern,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ''All of a sudden, Ty got let go. There are a lot of people here familiar with him ... He played a lot of snaps in his career. We need somebody here right now that has some playing time under their belt and he's been active for the last three weeks. It was a nice fit for us.''
Polumbus' first stint with the Broncos came to a bizarre end in training camp in 2010. Not long after Elvis Dumervil singed a mega contract, he tore a chest muscle while blocking Polumbus in a 1-on-1 drill and ended up on IR. Polumbus soon found himself on the waiver wire, the Lions picked him up and traded him six days later to Seattle for a draft pick.
It was one of many miscalculations made by former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who would be ousted by the end of that season.
Polumbus, 30, went on to play in zone blocking schemes with the Seahawks (2010-11), Washington (2011-14) and Falcons (2015) during an NFL career that includes 57 starts, all but six at right tackle.
Although the Broncos (3-0) could move right tackle Ryan Harris to the left side and insert Michael Schofield into the starting lineup Sunday against the Vikings (2-1) if Sambrailo can't go, the simplest solution might be to play Polumbus, who logged 21 snaps for the Falcons this season.
''I think it has to be realistic'' Kubiak said. ''We thought Ty would maybe be able to do something today. He didn't. Hopefully, tomorrow. At least's he's a player that's been active. He's been in a system where they talk the same verbiage as we talk. If we need him quick, he was the best possible option for us.''
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