Broncos Promote Rookie OLB Ahmad Gooden to Active Roster, Waive Orson Charles

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos signed FB/TE Orson Charles on Tuesday, only to announce on Friday that he's been waived. The Broncos cut bait with Charles to make room for OLB Ahmad Gooden to be promoted to the active roster from the practice squad. 

The move was a reaction to Justin Hollins' injury, who was ruled out with a hamstring for Week 12 on Friday. The team prioritized having that fourth active outside linebacker over a bandaid fullback who barely knows the offense, in other words. 

“Hollins can’t play, so we wanted four outside backers up and he’ll be on a bunch of the special teams, too," Fangio said Friday. "Anxious to see him play.”

I questioned the Charles signing when it happened, as it consumed a roster spot that could have been given to rookie QB Drew Lock. The Broncos already had their replacement fullback on the roster in Andrew Beck — the same guy who filled in for Andy Janovich for several games to open the season. 

So why consume Janovich's roster spot, now that he's on injured reserve, with a band-aid signed off the street in Charles? It never did make sense, especially in light of offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello saying on Thursday that Beck is "a fullback at heart". 

What happens next for the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our free newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

Gooden will keep that roster spot warm for Lock, who could be activated off IR as soon as on Saturday, but more likey at some point next week. Gooden (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) is an undrafted rookie who played his college ball at Samford University. 

Gooden has spent his entire rookie season with the Broncos' practice squad after entering the NFL with the club as a college free agent on April 30. In five preseason games, he totaled 11 tackles (3 solo) and two special-teams stops.

You've got to feel for Charles a little bit, considering this was his second short-lived stint with the Broncos. Don't expect him to pick up the phone the next time area code 303 lights up. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (4)
No. 1-3

Sounds like this move was forced by Hollins’s unavailability. Klis says the Broncos told Charles not to leave town. Klis thinks he’s being brought back next week.


Why in the world does the author think Charles took Locks roster spot? If Lock gets activated Rypien goes back to the practice squad. That's the roster spot.

Arctic Bronco
Arctic Bronco

How much did Charles make in 5 days with the Broncos?