The Denver Broncos are currently in the throes of a four-game losing streak. The upshot, however, is that the team is getting a 10-day 'mini-bye' between Week 7's loss to Cleveland and Week 8's home tilt vs. the Washington Football Team.
That window has provided GM George Paton and head coach Vic Fangio the opportunity to make more than a few moves — including the acquisition of an edge rusher and inside linebacker via trade — as well as trimming the roster considerably.
One day removed from waiving linebacker Barrington Wade, the Broncos announced a flurry of roster cuts. On Tuesday, the team waived running back Damarea Crockett and linebacker Curtis Robinson from the active roster, while releasing wideout John Brown, offensive guard Javon Patterson, and cornerback Saivion Smith from the practice squad. Backup guard Netane Muti was also placed on the COVID/reserve list.
The Broncos also officially opened the 21-day practice window for tight end Albert Okwuegbunam and linebacker Jonas Griffith to return off of injured reserve. Both players are badly needed as the Broncos' offense has been devoid of play-making ability — outside of Courtland Sutton — while the defense has lost off-ball linebackers at an alarming clip.
Moving on from the veteran Brown comes as a bit of a surprise considering Denver's dearth of speed at wide receiver. Brown received a few decoy snaps in Week 6's loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and quite a few more, including an ill-fated end-zone target, in Week 7's defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.
Patterson and Smith have been developmental/reserve types whom the Broncos are unlikely to miss. Their respective dismissals from the practice squad could be preemptive moves to make room for Crockett and Robinson.
Right now, the Broncos are in search of answers and solutions to the cavalcade of problems at hand. Stanching the bleeding at off-ball linebacker should help, provided Kenny Young can assimilate quickly, but until the Broncos find a way to spark the offense, it won't matter who the team has patroling at linebacker.
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