Bryce Callahan

Broncos Place Bryce Callahan On IR

It’s now official. The Broncos placed cornerback Bryce Callahan on IR, per a press release from the team. To take his place on the roster, the club will activate wide receiver Tim Patrick from IR. 

The Broncos gave Callahan a three-year, $21MM deal with $10MM guaranteed. The former Bears slot standout, unfortunately, has yet to play a down in Denver. This comes after last season’s letdown – he ended the 2018 campaign on Chicago’s IR with a broken foot. This year, he aggravated that injury in training camp.

Callahan was one of three high-profile Broncos free agent additions, joining Kareem Jackson and Ja’Wuan James. While Jackson has delivered in his first full season as a safety, James has missed most of this season. Two out of three ain’t bad, but one out of three is….pretty bad.

The Broncos are 3-6 with nearly no chance of seeing the playoffs this year. On the plus side – they managed to beat the Browns in their last time out and they’ll be ticketed for a high first-round draft pick, provided that they don’t mess things up by winning too much the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Expected To Place Callahan On IR

Bryce Callahan‘s foot injury has kept him off the field throughout this season, and the cornerback’s Broncos debut is now expected to be tabled until 2020. Vic Fangio said Callahan is likely to go on IR, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (on Twitter).

Fangio said Monday that Callahan was expected to make an attempt to practice this week. That occurred, but Callahan’s injured foot was sore afterward. While the free agent addition may be healthy enough to return at some point this season, upcoming activations of Drew Lock and wide receiver Tim Patrick will force the Broncos to remove two players from their active roster.

The Broncos gave Callahan a three-year, $21MM deal with $10MM guaranteed. The former Bears slot standout ended last season on IR with a fractured foot, and he aggravated that injury in training camp. Callahan was one of three high-profile Broncos free agent additions, joining Kareem Jackson and Ja’Wuan James. While Jackson has delivered in his first full season as a safety, James has missed most of this season.

Callahan is the top Broncos corner under contract next season, with four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris set to test free agency. While Harris has not ruled out a return to Denver, and support exists in the building for another re-up, Callahan’s situation could make this a major offseason need.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Drew Lock To Practice This Week

Although Drew Lock has been eligible to return to practice for weeks, that has yet to occur. The process of bringing Lock into the starting lineup, however, will begin on Tuesday.

Lock is expected to practice Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This will begin the rookie’s return from IR. The Broncos are already planning to bring wide receiver Tim Patrick off IR. Lock coming back would fill both of Denver’s slots. However, Vic Fangio said it’s not certain Lock will play this season, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). Lock has been sidelined since August with a thumb injury.

Of course, with the Broncos 3-6 and having backup Brandon Allen as their starter now points to a Lock audition coming soon. The tentative plan was for the second-round pick to start the final two Broncos games. While Fangio said Allen’s play will determine Lock’s activation, it would stand to reason the Broncos would give Lock as much time as possible in order for the franchise to gauge its recent QB investment before next year’s draft.

Lock can return to game action at any point, as it’s been more than eight weeks since his initial IR placement. But if he returns to practice Tuesday, the Broncos will have three weeks to activate him. Additionally, Fangio said Bryce Callahan would try to practice Tuesday. The team has also yet to decide if Patrick will be activated this season, Twitter links via Klis and Jhabvala.

Denver going with a Lock-Patrick IR-return combo would mean Jake Butt and Theo Riddick will miss the season. Callahan remains on the active roster and can make his Broncos debut at any point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Johnson

The Bryce Callahan situation is moving closer toward the Broncos not seeing him on the field this season. After a report surfaced indicating the offseason signing now may miss the season, Vic Fangio said (via the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran, on Twitter) seeing Callahan on the field this year has become a 50-50 proposition. Fangio said earlier this week he was hopeful his former Bears pupil would suit up in 2019. The Broncos signed both Callahan and Kareem Jackson to patch up their secondary, but the former continues to struggle to shake off the foot trouble that ended his 2018 season early. With contract-year standout Chris Harris still a trade candidate, though a player that may end up staying, the Broncos’ long-term cornerback situation is in as bleak of a place since before the franchise’s 2004 Champ Bailey acquisition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions, shifting first to another key Broncos signing:

  • Denver’s Ja’Wuan James investment has gone almost as poorly as its Callahan addition. James suffered an injury in the first quarter of the Broncos’ Week 1 game and has missed every snap since. However, the well-paid right tackle is expected to start this week, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. James is believed to be set to play in a part-time capacity, with a three-tackle rotation between he, Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson in the cards. Wilkinson has started the past six Broncos games at right tackle.
  • In addition to Patrick Mahomes‘ Week 8 absence, the Chiefs will be without Frank Clark. The team declared its top defensive end out with a neck injury. Chris Jones, Kendall Fuller and Eric Fisher will miss another game as well. Clark broke out for a dominant performance against Bolles in Kansas City’s Week 7 win, but the offseason acquisition will have to wait until at least Week 9 to build on that performance.
  • However, the Chiefs will have Sammy Watkins back. The oft-injured wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5, but ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher notes he will play against the Packers. In Year 2 of a $16MM-AAV deal, Watkins has not caught a pass since Week 4.
  • David Johnson enters this week’s Cardinals game in the same place he did the past two games: as a game-time decision. Kliff Kingsbury said (via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban, on Twitter) the former All-Pro back does not need practice to suit up for a game, but with Chase Edmonds playing well in relief, this shapes up as a true game-time call. Johnson suited up for Week 7 but spent most of his afternoon on the sideline. Both Christian Kirk and Jordan Hicks are game-day calls as well.

AFC Notes: Dareus, Broncos, Green, Chiefs, Darnold

Marcell Dareus will undergo surgery today to repair a core muscle injury, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The defensive lineman is expected to miss 4-6 weeks for Jaguars.

Here’s more around the AFC:

  • Broncos coach Vic Fangio said it was “possible” that CB Bryce Callahan will miss the rest of the season, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets. Callaham underwent stem cell treatment on his foot last month and the original projection was 4-to-6 weeks.
  • A.J. Green did not practice today for the Bengals and isn’t expected to play against the Rams in London, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. LT Cordy Glenn will also not play in the contest.
  • DE Frank Clark (neck), DT Chris Jones (groin), LB Darron Lee (illness) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) all missed practice for the Chiefs today, Herbie Teope of Kansas City.com tweets. Patrick Mahomes is practicing again for the second-straight day.
  • Sam Darnold was limited in practice today, Brian Costello of the New York Post relays (Twitter link). Darnold was a non-participant for the Jets on Wednesday because of a toe ailment.

Latest On Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan

The Broncos have already verified their status as trade deadline sellers by moving wideout Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers, but another veteran member of Denver’s roster may not be going anywhere. While the Broncos “almost” found a trade partner for cornerback Chris Harris, the club now believes it will not be dealing the star defensive back, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Harris himself tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he “doubts” he’ll be traded.

Harris has been primarily linked to the Eagles thus far. After failing to acquire Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars despite offering a first- and second-round pick, Philadelphia reportedly turned its attention to Harris. The Texans, too, have apparently inquired on Harris, but haven’t been amenable to meeting Denver’s asking price.

Cornernback trades have been abundant in recent weeks, setting a market for a potential Harris deal. Ramsey eventually went to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth-round selection, and Los Angeles quickly traded one if its defensive backs — the mercurial Marcus Peters — to the Ravens for a fifth-rounder plus linebacker Kenny Young. The Texans joined the fray earlier this week, shipping a third-round choice to the Raiders in exchange for Gareon Conley.

While Harris’ status is up in the air, we do have more clarity on fellow Broncos corner Bryce Callahan. A free agent addition this offseason, Callahan hasn’t played a single game for Denver after sustaining a foot injury over the summer. Originally slated to miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery in late September, Callahan has since undergone stem cell treatment and may not return during the 2019 campaign, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs

Now that he’s back with the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon will instantly vault to the top of the club’s depth chart. “He’s our starter. No doubt,” said head coach Anthony Lynn, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. “He was our starter for a reason… as soon as Melvin’s ready, he’ll go back. He’ll go back to number one.” Lynn also said backups Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will continue to get work, but Gordon will become the No. 1 back. Meanwhile, Los Angeles received a roster exemption for Gordon, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Gordon’s exemption ends on October 7, so the Chargers don’t technically have to activate him for either Week 4 or 5.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • The Chargers placed left tackle Russell Okung on the non-football injury list prior to the beginning of the regular season, meaning he has to miss at least the first six weeks of the campaign. Lynn says Okung, who is dealing with a pulmonary embolism, could potentially return by Week 7 or 8, but that timeline is unclear, as Albert Breer of The MMQB.com writes. Amid the uncertainty, Trent Scott has taken over as LA’s starter on Philip Rivers‘ blindside, but he’s graded out as a bottom-10 tackle league-wide, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James is expected to miss two-to-four more weeks while dealing with a knee injury, while cornerback Bryce Callahan is out four-to-six more weeks after undergoing a procedure on his foot, according to Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Meanwhile, defensive back Kareem Jackson is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars because of a foot issue, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. As a result, Denver could potentially be without its top three free agent signings for its Week 4 contest.
  • Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is eligible for an extension at season’s end, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this year that the Chiefs signal-caller is likely to land a deal worth more than $200MM. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examines what’s changed in the months since while looking at just how soon Kansas City could give Mahomes a fresh pact.

Broncos’ Bryce Callahan Out At Least 4 More Weeks

Bad news for the Broncos, as they’ll continue to be without cornerback Bryce Callahan for the foreseeable future. Callahan is undergoing a “non-surgical procedure on his troublesome left foot,” a source told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News.

Klis reports that the procedure will sideline Callahan for at least the next four weeks. The expected timetable is 4-6 weeks, tweets Troy Renck of Denver ABC 7. The Broncos signed Callahan to a three-year deal worth $21MM with $10MM guaranteed back in March, and he’s yet to appear in a game for them. Callahan broke his foot toward the end of last season, and was recovering well until he re-aggravated it in training camp when another player stepped on it.

The team still isn’t placing him on injured reserve, signaling they expect to have him back within that timetable. If they had placed him on IR at the beginning of the season, his current timetable would’ve lined up nicely with the first eight games he would’ve had to miss. Callahan had a big season with the Bears last year, and he followed his defensive coordinator in Chicago Vic Fangio to the Broncos.

Callahan is going to start when healthy, and Denver’s secondary needs him. Isaac Yiadom had been starting at corner but was struggling mightily, and he got pulled for De’Vante Bausby last week against the Packers. Klis writes that the team is expected to give Bausby, an AAF standout, his second-career NFL start this Sunday against the Jaguars.

AFC Rumors: Harris, Sanders, Ravens, Titans

The Broncos employ three of the top slot cornerbacks in the league, with recent signings Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan joining longtime slot kingpin Chris Harris. Vic Fangio, however, confirmed the Broncos will also use Jackson as a safety, where he lined up in base packages all offseason. The Broncos have not settled on how they’re going to mix and match three corners who do their best work as inside cover men.

We still have some things that we have to figure out as to exactly how we are lining up our secondary, figure out the starters up front of all the positions, and then playing the different packages — the five-DB packages, the six-DB, etc.,” Fangio said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (subscription required). “I think we have some versatility. We’ve got three good players that have played nickel at a high level in this league, and that is highly unusual.”

Despite his status as one of the NFL’s premier corners, Harris does not have a surefire role yet, Mark Kizsla of the Denver Post notes. The ninth-year player has previously worked as a boundary corner in Broncos base sets before shifting inside in sub-packages, which has keyed the former UDFA’s rise to prominence. Pro Football Focus graded the four-time Pro Bowler as its No. 3 corner last season. Harris has requested to play more outside corner in the past but doesn’t appear to prefer ceding too much time at his top job.

I think I have a different role every week,” Harris said, via Jhabvala. “We’ve got so many guys that are interchangeable, but we’ve got a chance of me playing all outside and then one day of me playing the inside. To me, I think it just looks different with me inside. I’m just a totally different man inside compared to everybody else.”

Here is more from Denver and the latest from other AFC cities:

  • Emmanuel Sanders‘ chances of playing Week 1 seem to be improving. The 10th-year wide receiver will not begin training camp on the Broncos’ active/PUP list, with NFL.com’s James Palmer noting (via Twitter) the team did not place anyone on that list. John Elway said Wednesday that Sanders will begin practicing with the team Thursday, though the 32-year-old wideout cautioned he would not be full-go for a bit. Sanders is attempting to recover from a December Achilles tear.
  • Ravens cornerback/return man Cyrus Jones has been dealing with a non-disclosed health issue, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Jones missed Baltimore’s offseason program, but it sounds like he will be back in time for the Ravens’ preseason slate. If so, Zreibec expects the former Patriots second-rounder to keep his job as Ravens punt returner. Jones averaged a career-best 14.4 yards per return with Baltimore last season, including a 70-yard touchdown sprint.
  • Kenneth Dixon does not appear to have as strong a chance to keep a roster spot. The fourth-year Ravens running back is behind Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill, and Zreibec is not certain the Ravens will carry four running backs this season. Even if Baltimore does keep four backs, the injury- and suspension-limited Dixon does not appear to be a lock to beat out former Texan Tyler Ervin or second-year UDFA De’Lance Turner.
  • Staying on the running back subject, David Fluellen will likely be the Titans‘ third running back — behind Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. The expectation entering camp is the team will not carry a fourth, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com, making a preseason battle between Jeremy McNichols, Dalyn Dawkins and rookie UDFA Alex Barnes more likely to be for a practice squad slot.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account: