Broncos Sign Christian Ponder

12:36pm: The Broncos have placed edge defender Kenny Anunike on injured reserve, ending his season, in order to clear a spot on the roster for Ponder, tweets Mike Klis of 9News.

11:30am: After hosting him for a visit, the Broncos will sign quarterback Christian Ponder to a contract, reports Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). With Peyton Manning injured, but still on the active roster, the Ponder signing will give Denver four quarterbacks on its 53-man squad.

Ponder, 27, started 36 games during his four years with the Vikings, though he was essentially the team’s No. 3 signal-caller in 2014, behind Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel on the depth chart. With a career 59.8% completion rate and 75.9 passer rating, Ponder didn’t find a very active market when he hit free agency this offseason — he ultimately signed with the Raiders, but was released by Oakland prior to the regular season.

With Manning sidelined in Denver for at least a couple more weeks, the Broncos will lean on Brock Osweiler as the starter and seventh-round rookie Trevor Siemian as the backup for now. As Rapoport explains (via Twitter), Ponder will start as No. 3 on the depth chart while he learns the offense, and could eventually move up to No. 2, but that’s not a given, since the Broncos like Siemian.

The Broncos put in a waiver claim on Jimmy Clausen this week, after the signal-caller was cut by the Bears. While the Ravens ended up landing Clausen, the fact that Denver submitted a claim suggested that the team wanted to add another veteran to the mix, with its only two healthy quarterbacks having combined for a single NFL start.

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2 comments on “Broncos Sign Christian Ponder

  1. Rory Parks

    Ponder’s skillset aligns fairly well with Osweiler’s, particularly his ability to move around in the pocket, which allows Kubiak to utilize all the wrinkles in his West Coast offense. It will definitely be fascinating to see what happens with this QB dilemma if Osweiler can hold down the fort over the next several weeks.


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