The Denver Broncos will report to training camp next week with the cleats hitting the grass at UCHealth Training Center on Wednesday, July 28. The Broncos' quarterbacks reported for training camp on Saturday, getting an early jump on what is sure to be a red-hot summer of attrition as the team seeks to produce the first season above .500 since 2016.
Several players will enter camp coming off an injury. For such players, the Broncos have the prerogative to place them on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which can buy the team time for further roster maneuverings.
With stars like Courtland Sutton and Von Miller coming off an injury-decimated 2020 campaign, fans have wondered whom the Broncos will place on the PUP list to open camp. Saturday provided the answer.
Per the NFL transaction wire, and courtesy of 9NEWS' Mike Klis, the Broncos have placed defensive backs Essang Bassey and Duke Dawson on the PUP, as well as rookie third-round linebacker Baron Browning.
These players will be able to attend meetings and use club facilities but are not allowed to work out with the team or practice. On the 'active' PUP list, which constitutes pre-regular season rules, the player can be activated to practice with as little as one day's notice, so long as he's cleared by team medical staff.
Once that player practices, however, they cannot be placed back on PUP and if further injured, would have to be placed on injured reserve. So, this trio of players can take in training camp as spectators and work towards getting healthy while being present for all the meetings, which allows the team to activate them whenever without the players counting toward the 53-man roster math.
Bassey is a nickel cornerback coming off an ACL tear suffered as a rookie last year. Undrafted out of Wake Forest, he made the Broncos' active roster out of training camp and earned significant snaps in Vic Fangio's defense as a nickel and dime-backer before the injury bug bit him.
With Bryce Callahan returning, Bassey has his work cut out for him this year especially when considering the arrival of seventh-rounder Kary Vincent, Jr. out of LSU, who's also a formidable slot corner.
Dawson was a New England second-round pick back in 2018 but flamed out quickly and was traded to Denver, along with a seventh-round pick, in exchange for a sixth-rounder. He seems to have become a modest favorite of Fanigo's and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, though Dawson has failed to make an impact.
Still, Dawson has found a way to stick around. This year, though, the pressure is on as the Broncos added cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency, as well as Patrick Surtain II in the first round and the aforementioned Vincent.
Browning is one of Denver's 2021 third-round picks out of Ohio State. He brings tremendous athleticism to the table but he's still quite raw. And, well, you know the old adage:
You can't make the club from the tub.
Browning suffered a lower-leg injury during rookie mini-camp back in May and the team has been quite cagey about the situation ever since. After seeing last year's drafted linebacker — Justin Strnad — arrive with no small degree of fan anticipation, only to miss the entire season due to a wrist injury, Broncos Country is anxious to see Browning out on the grass.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!