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Broncos Activate CB Mike Ford Off Injured Reserve, Elevate 3 from Practice Squad

The Broncos made a quartet of roster moves on the eve of the team's road bout with the Cowboys.

All eyes are on the Denver Broncos to see how the team responds in the aftermath of the blockbuster Von Miller trade, which occurred on Monday. Emotionally, does the Broncos' roster have the mettle to overcome the loss of Miller's influence?

And maybe, perhaps, just possibly — could the Miller trade be a catalyst that galvanizes the Broncos to an emotional level of intensity we've heretofore not seen? Time will tell. 

Denver will have to come up with something different than what it has displayed the past five games with a trip to take on the 6-1 juggernaut Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. 

The Broncos had to place slot cornerback Bryce Callahan on injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury in Week 8 which created a massive vacuum on Vic Fangio's defense. Who will play the nickel? 

“It’ll either be [CB Nate] Hairston, and we’ll put [CB Kyle] Fuller in there some too," Fangio said on Friday. 

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It was Nate Hariston whom Fangio turned to last Sunday to play nickel in relief of Callahan. Kyle Fuller garnered just two defensive snaps in Denver's 17-10 victory over the Washington Football Team. 

Some help is on the way, however, as the Broncos announced that cornerback Mike Ford has officially been activated off of injured reserve. The 6-foot, 198-pound veteran is a fourth-year player who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions after signing as a college free agent out of Southeast Missouri State in 2018. 

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Ford appeared in 33 career games with seven starts for the Lions and tallied 37 total tackles, four passes defended, and one tackle for loss. The Broncos claimed him off waivers on September 1 but he suffered an injury and was placed on IR on October 16. His biggest impact will come on special teams but he gives Fangio some proven depth at corner, though he's not a nickel, like Callahan. 

With perhaps not enough time on task to get back into football shape, the Broncos have not activated cornerbacks Essang Bassey or Duke Dawson off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Both defensive backs were 'activated' to begin practicing this past week, which opens a 21-day window for the Broncos to evaluate whether either can or should be officially activated to the roster before the NFL would mandate the two players be remanded back to a reserves list. 

Maybe next week. Bassey, in particular, is a player Fangio could really use right now in Callahan's stead. An undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest last year, Bassey quickly carved out a role on Fangio's defense as a third safety and nickel corner before suffering a season-ending ACL tear. 

If/when the Broncos get him back, it'll do much to improve the defense's outlook post-Callahan. As for Dawson, he's never really been able to make a positive impact on defense although he'd be a welcome addition to Denver's beleaguered special teams coverage units. 

On Saturday, the Broncos also announced three gameday 'elevations' off the practice squad. Defensive lineman Jonathan Harris was elevated as a COVID-19 replacement (likely temporarily filling tight end Noah Fant's roster spot whilst he recovers from the virus), as well as offensive guard Austin Schlottmann, and inside linebacker Barrington Wade. 

As 10-point road underdogs this week, the Broncos will need all the help they can get. 


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