The Broncos’ perpetually spinning right tackle carousel may soon have another starter in place. The team activated Tom Compton from the reserve/PUP list on Tuesday.
Signed to vie for the right tackle gig with Billy Turner and/or provide depth, Compton has been shut down since undergoing back surgery this summer. The Broncos designated Compton for return Oct. 26, giving them one more day to activate the veteran offensive lineman. Otherwise, Compton would have been ineligible to play this season.
In moving Compton onto the 53-man roster, the Broncos shuttled Turner to IR. While Nathaniel Hackett called Denver’s most recent right tackle starter week-to-week Monday, the veteran blocker’s latest knee injury was rumored to require a much longer absence. Turner will be out at least four games. While Compton could take over as Denver’s starter, it is not certain the veteran will be ready immediately upon return.
Denver gave Compton a one-year, $2.25MM deal to come over from San Francisco. They of 10 different right tackles to open the past 10 seasons, the Broncos had planned a Turner-Compton competition. Compton’s back procedure and Turner’s training camp knee injury scuttled that, leading Cameron Fleming to start the season there. Many changes to Denver’s front have occurred since that point.
Compton, 33, has experience at both guard and tackle. Most recently, he filled in well for the NFC championship-bound 2021 49ers. Following Mike McGlinchey‘s season-ending quadriceps injury, Compton took over and started San Francisco’s final 10 games. Pro Football Focus rated the veteran as one of last season’s top run blockers at any position, though his limited offseason market did not reflect that praise. The Broncos are Compton’s seventh NFL team; he has started for five of those, making 44 career starts.
Turner, 31, signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal to rejoin the Broncos (and Hackett, the Packers’ OC during each of Turner’s three Green Bay years) this offseason. After Turner’s injury Sunday, the Broncos moved inexperienced option Quinn Bailey to their right tackle post. The team has lost left tackle Garett Bolles for the season and has center Lloyd Cushenberry on IR. The combination of three second- and/or third-string options led to the Broncos allowing 18 quarterback hits against the Titans.