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Report: Broncos Sign Former Bills WR John Brown to Practice Squad

The artist known as "Smokey."

The Denver Broncos are replacing speedy wide receiver K.J. Hamler, who's out for the season, with the even speedier John Brown.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that Brown is finalizing a deal to join Denver's practice squad.

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A 2014 third-round pick of the Cardinals, Brown has totaled 320 receptions for 4,748 yards and 31 touchdowns across 96 career NFL games (65 starts), spread across stints in Arizona, Baltimore, and Buffalo. The 31-year-old pass-catcher most recently spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders, from whom he requested his release in August.

Nicknamed "Smoke" for his lethal deep-threat ability, Brown was clocked at 4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash — a faster time than Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson (4.34). The 5-foot-11, 178-pound wideout put his skills on display at Pittsburg State, where he finished as the all-time leader in receptions (185), receiving yards (3,380), and receiving TDs (34). He averaged more than 18 yards per grab, many of which came over the top of opposing secondaries.

"There's a fear when he's out there, for defenders," former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said of Brown in 2017.

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Brown, who carries the sickle-cell trait, becomes the fifth WR to land on the Broncos' practice squad along with Tyrie Cleveland, Seth Williams, De'Mornay Pierson-El, and Rico Gafford.

The team currently has just five healthy receivers (Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Kendall Hinton, Diontae Spencer, David Moore) on its 53-man roster after losing Hamler and Jerry Jeudy, who remains shelved on injured reserve.

There's a possibility, if not probability, that Brown is elevated ahead of Sunday's home matchup against his former team, the Raiders.


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