It took much longer than expected, but Mark Barron is in position to make his Broncos debut. The team activated him from IR Wednesday.
The Broncos signed the former first-round pick during training camp, eyeing a potential part-time role for the veteran on a suddenly reshaped linebacking corps. Denver released longtime starter Todd Davis before the season and saw rookie Justin Strnad suffer a season-ending injury during camp. Barron, however, soon experienced injury troubles. But the former Buccaneers, Rams and Steelers starter is on track to play in Week 12.
Pittsburgh released Barron earlier this year, and he spent nearly six months in free agency. Upon signing a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Broncos, Barron suffered a hamstring injury. During his rehab process, Barron then encountered a pectoral malady.
The former Bucs safety and longtime Rams linebacker will likely see time mixing in on a Broncos defense that has used 2019 backup Josey Jewell as a full-time player alongside top inside ‘backer Alexander Johnson. Jewell’s snap rate has risen from 20% last season to 93% this year. But with Pro Football Focus slotting Johnson and Jewell as 2020’s No. 10- and No. 26-ranked off-ball linebackers, respectively, Barron may not see as much time as initially planned.
To make room for Barron, the Broncos waived running back LeVante Bellamy. The latter has bounced on and off Denver’s active roster this season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.