Well, it was fun while it lasted. Two weeks after signing veteran defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, the Denver Broncos handed him his walking papers on Friday according to the NFL transaction wire.
Williams was signed to the Broncos' practice squad on October 7, due to the team's defensive line being ravaged by injuries. Pro Bowl veteran Jurell Casey landed on season-ending injured reserve coming out of Week 2, and was quickly followed by shortly thereafter by Dre'Mont Jones and DeMarcus Walker. A few days later, Williams was promoted to the active roster.
With their mandated three games served on IR, Jones and Walker are eligible to return to the active roster this week vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. While Walker's standing is a little more cloudy, Jones is expected to be activated by Sunday.
With No. 1 cornerback A.J. Bouye also returning this week off IR, the Broncos were running out of room at the inn, so to speak. The Broncos preempted the expected return of Bouye and Jones by releasing veteran defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan earlier this week but that left one more cut to be made.
If the Broncos activate Walker, the team will have to cut one more player. Fangio addressed Walker's prospects for Week 7 on Friday.
“We haven’t decided yet," Fangio said. "He’s eligible to come back but we’re going to wait until tomorrow or Sunday to make that decision.”
It's tough to see Williams go, but then again, seeing him garner snaps in Week 6's 18-12 road win over the New England Patriots whilst sporting the jersey No. 73 was painful in its own right. After all, though Williams' NFL star has diminished with time, he was Denver's first-round draft pick in 2013 and started on the D-line in Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl 50.
The jersey No. 92 is currently owned by injured defensive lineman Jonathan Harris, who was placed on reserves during the summer. I wondered why the team didn't just give Williams back his number, considering his pedigree with the team and his standing as a Super Bowl 50 hero, and now we have the answer.
The Broncos always planned for Williams to be a short-term rental while Jones and Walker healed up on IR. It'll be interesting to see if Williams re-signs to the practice squad but I doubt it.
Happy trails to 'Sly' but congratulations are in order for Jones, upon whose shoulders the Broncos have a lot of hopes riding. With Patrick Mahomes coming to town this weekend, the Broncos need an interior push upfront and that is something Jones can oblige with.