Austin Fort

Broncos Move Roster To 53

The Broncos parted ways with 24 players to trim their roster to the 53-man regular-season limit. Here are the players the team cut to get to 53.

Waived:

Released:

Placed on IR:

The Rypien cut will leave the Broncos with two active-roster QBs — Drew Lock and Jeff Driskel — while the Fumagalli and Fort decisions mean Jake Butt made Denver’s active roster. Viewed as a long shot to do so after the team made multiple tight end additions this offseason, Butt made it through camp healthy to start his contract year. The former Michigan standout has suffered three ACL tears in his career.

Denver drafting three wideouts made matters difficult for their lesser-known holdovers, but Winfree — a 2019 sixth-rounder — profiles as a practice squad candidate. The Broncos will carry rookie seventh-rounder Tyrie Cleveland onto their active roster.

Bausby has bounced around the league for several years now, and the former Division II standout joined Mike Purcell in vaulting from the Alliance of American Football to a Broncos role last year. But the team kept UDFA Essang Bassey over Bausby this year.

West Notes: Samuel, Chiefs, Broncos

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area says the 49ers seem to be expecting top wideout Deebo Samuel, who is recovering from surgery to correct the Jones fracture in his left foot, to miss the first six weeks of the 2020 season. Indeed, the club recently signed both Tavon Austin and JJ Nelson to fill out its WR depth chart.

But Samuel’s timetable may not be quite that long. Maiocco acknowledges that workout videos posted by the talented second-year pass catcher suggest he could return sooner, and head coach Kyle Shanahan is still hoping for a Week 1 return.

“Deebo’s going to do everything he can to be in shape, but it’s hard to be in football shape until you can play football,” Shanahan said (via Keiana Martin of the team’s official website). “So, how many practices do we get him in here before Arizona? That’s going to all go into play. I’m hoping for Week 1, but not sure yet. It’s still too early.”

Now for a quick roundup of several more West division items:

  • In addition to the Austin and Nelson signings, the 49ers recently took a flier on TE Jordan Reed. As Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, Reed’s one-year pact with San Francisco includes a $1.05MM base salary with up to $750K in playing time incentives.
  • Chiefs CB Alex Brown suffered a torn ACL in Friday’s practice, as Brown himself noted on Instagram (via Nate Taylor of The Athletic on Twitter). Brown, a 2019 UDFA, spent time with the 49ers, Eagles, and Jets last summer before signing with KC’s practice squad. He got called up to the active roster in December and served as a special teams contributor down the stretch of the regular season and throughout the club’s Super Bowl run.
  • Broncos TE Austin Fort is having an arthroscopic procedure on his knee and will miss some time, as Mike Klis of 9News.com tweets. It’s more tough luck for Fort, a 2019 UDFA who was impressing in training camp for Denver last summer before sustaining a season-ending ACL tear.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/19

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Chase Middleton
  • Waived: DB Hamp Cheevers

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: DT Brandin Bryant, OT Travis Vornkahl

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: TE Brandon Barnes
  • Waived: CB Isaiah Langley

Houston Texans

  • Waived/injured: DE Ira Lewis

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: WR Quadree Henderson, LB Davis Tull
  • Waived/injured: WR Marcus Simms (concussion)

 

Broncos TE Austin Fort Done For Season

Broncos’ undrafted free agent tight end Austin Fort suffered a torn ACL in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Seahawks, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Of course, it’s a season ending injury, so Fort will have to wait until at least 2020 to make his true NFL debut. 

[RELATED: Lions’ Kearse Breaks Leg, Suffers Ankle Damage]

Prior to the injury, Fort was impressing in training camp and was pushing hard for playing time on the roster. The Wyoming product was even getting time as a first-stringer in practice due to injuries.

Fort suffered the ACL tear after catching a beautiful 29-yard pass from fellow rookie Drew Lock. He went down quickly without contact and doctors confirmed the team’s worst fears soon after.

Fort’s injury leaves the Broncos thin at tight end. As it stands, Troy Fumagalli and Moral Stephens are the only healthy tight ends behind Jeff Heuerman and Noah Fant. Heuerman, meanwhile, is dealing with a shoulder issue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Sign 17 UDFAs

The Broncos UDFA list is up to 17 players, and it now officially includes quarterback Brett Rypien, whom the club agreed to sign several days ago. Today, Denver waived Garrett Grayson to make room for Rypien. Here’s the updated list (Mike Klis of 9News.com passes along the signing bonuses for all of the players for whom that information is available).

The Broncos have been consistent in identifying UDFA talent during John Elway‘s tenure, with Chris Harris becoming a perennial Pro Bowler and C.J. Anderson and Phillip Lindsay each making the Pro Bowl during their initial years as starters.

Lindsay’s late-season injury may create a chance for Jackson, who rushed for 1,385 yards and 12 touchdowns last season at the Division II school. The 5-foot-7 ball carrier will give the Broncos a two-Devontae running back room, with Devontae Booker entering a contract year.

Denver lost two offensive linemen in free agency and only drafted one, Dalton Risner, pointing to an opportunity for its quartet of UDFA blockers.