Graham Glasgow

Broncos CB K’Waun Williams To Undergo Surgery; T Billy Turner Suffers Knee Injury

Starters continue to disappear from the Broncos’ equation. The team’s struggling offense and its top-performing defense, respectively, will lose a player apiece. K’Waun Williams and Billy Turner are set to miss time.

Williams, who has operated as Denver’s slot cornerback since being signed in March, is slated for arthroscopic knee surgery, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. The ninth-year veteran will miss at least four weeks, making him an IR candidate. The team’s preferred option at right tackle, Turner reinjured the knee that sidelined him for much of training camp and the Broncos’ early-season action. While Nathaniel Hackett called Turner week-to-week, a Russell Wilson Instagram post would seem to indicate a much longer absence could be on tap.

The Broncos finished Sunday’s game without Turner and center Graham Glasgow, who is being called day-to-day with a shoulder injury. That forced in third-string center Luke Wattenberg, a fifth-round rookie, and third-string right tackle Quinn Bailey. Denver has not activated Tom Compton, who was set to vie for the starting right tackle gig with Turner in camp, from its PUP list yet. The team has also lost left tackle Garett Bolles for the season and has center Lloyd Cushenberry on IR. Left with starting guards and a various third-stringers at the other O-line positions by game’s end, the Broncos allowed a staggering 18 quarterback hits in their loss to the Titans.

Turner initially created a market for himself by blocking for the first of Phillip Lindsay‘s two 1,000-yard seasons in 2018. The Packers invested in the former third-round Dolphins draftee. Turner played both guard and tackle during that 2018 platform season and signed a four-year, $28MM deal with the Packers, who also used him at tackle and guard. Green Bay cut Turner this offseason, but he followed Hackett to Denver via one-year, $2.5MM contract. Turner, 31, has played in four games and started three in his second tour of duty with the Broncos.

Denver, which has used a different Week 1 right tackle starter in each of the past 10 seasons, has seen injuries foil its latest plan at the position. The Broncos have until Wednesday to activate Compton; otherwise, the veteran blocker cannot play in 2022. Compton is also on a one-year deal (worth $2.25MM). Bailey, 27, has been with the Broncos since 2019 but has only logged 90 career offensive snaps. Right tackle stands to be a need yet again for the Broncos come 2023.

Williams, 31, joined Patrick Surtain II and Ronald Darby in forming the Broncos’ top corner trio. But Darby is out for the season. The Broncos will likely turn to former UDFA Essang Bassey at the slot spot, Klis adds. The 49ers’ slot corner for the past five seasons, Williams has not missed any time since signing with the Broncos. Pro Football Focus rates the veteran defender just outside the top 30 among corners.

The Broncos have five IR activations remaining. Cushenberry and Randy Gregory are positioned to return this year. Safety Caden Sterns and running back Mike Boone may as well. As the injuries pile up for the disappointing team, Williams could soon factor into this IR-return picture as well.

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy Suffers Ankle Injury

NOVEMBER 14: An MRI confirmed on Monday that Jeudy did indeed only suffer a mild ankle injury, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (video link). His availability for this week remains up in the air, but the news represents a very positive development for the Broncos.

NOVEMBER 13: Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy left today’s loss to the Titans with an ankle injury that kept him out for the rest of the game. After evaluating the injury further, Denver believes the injury is not his Achilles tendon, which would be the worst-case scenario for the 23-year-old, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS.

Jeudy missed seven games last year, including six straight due to a high ankle sprain. He’s come back strong during his third year in the league, not missing a single start so far this year. That streak may be in question following today’s injury, though. It will be good news if the team can confirm that his Achilles is fine, but an injury that was serious enough to hold him out of the rest of the game will be tough to come back from quickly.

With slot receiver KJ Hamler dealing with a hamstring injury and Tim Patrick still on injured reserve with a season-ending ACL tear, the Broncos can hardly afford to lose Jeudy. With Jeudy on the sideline, Denver relied on Kendall Hinton, Tyrie Cleveland, rookie fifth-round pick Montrell Washington, and undrafted rookie Jalen Virgil to step up alongside the team’s only remaining starting wideout, Courtland Sutton. Virgil and Hinton found some success today against Tennessee but relying on them for multiple weeks is a lot to ask for an offense that has already struggled throughout the season.

The team is also piling up injuries at center. Graham Glasgow, who was already filling for Lloyd Cushenberry after the starting center was placed on IR, left today’s game and did not return, according to Klis. Denver brought in rookie fifth-round pick Luke Wattenberg to fill in for Glasgow and will likely ask him to start if Glasgow needs more time to recover.

Injury Notes: Beathard, Glasgow, Jones, Texans, Bengals

The Jaguars number-two QB went down with an injury yesterday. C.J. Beathard was carted off the field during OTAs, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). According to the reporter, Beathard suffered a groin injury, and an impending MRI will reveal the extent of the injury.

The former third-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the 49ers. Beathard went 2-10 as a starter, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,469 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Jaguars last offseason, and he got into two games as Trevor Lawrence‘s backup, completing his pair of pass attempts.

If Beathard is forced to miss an extended amount of time, the Jaguars will likely turn to Jake Luton or rookie EJ Perry as Lawrence’s primary backup.

More injury news from around the NFL…

  • Broncos lineman Graham Glasgow broke his ankle last November, but the veteran is back at practice and is competing to regain his starting spot. “I’m no stranger to competition,’’ Glasgow said (via Mike Klis of 9News in Denver). “I’ve competed in the past and I’ve competed for starting jobs in the past. This whole offseason, I’ve been competing with myself to get better in my rehab stuff. If I’m healthy, I’m just going to go out there and do what I can and do what I do. We’ll see what comes out of that.” The 29-year-old guard/center has started 78 of his 82 career games, but Klis notes that Quinn Meinerz and/0r Netane Muti could push him for a starting gig.
  • Daniel Jones is apparently over his neck injury. Giants head coach Brian Daboll told reporters that if the season started today, then the Giants starting QB would be fully cleared to play (per Dan Duggan of The Athletic on Twitter). After going 4-7 in his 11 starts, Jones missed the final six games of the 2021 campaign with a neck injury. Despite his struggles, the former sixth-overall pick is expected to keep his starting gig in 2022, although the organization did bring in veteran Tyrod Taylor as competition.
  • Texans wideout DaeSean Hamilton is set to have knee surgery tomorrow, reports Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). The receiver suffered the injury during a non-contact drill, but he didn’t tear his ACL and is expected to make a full recovery at some point during the regular season. Hamilton was a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in 2018, and he only missed a pair of games through his first three seasons. He missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, and he caught on with the Texans back in March. The 27-year-old has 81 receptions in 46 games.
  • Bengals defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin suffered a wrist injury that will shut him down for the rest of the offseason program, per the team’s website. Coach Zac Taylor told reporters that the former fourth-round pick avoided a serious injury, but the player still needed to go under the knife to repair the ailment. Shelvin got into three games as a rookie, collecting four tackles.

Latest On Broncos’ Offensive Line Plans

Pro Football Focus ranked the Broncos’ 2021 offensive line 19th, and while the team will have a different Week 1 right tackle starter for a 10th straight season, Denver made only midlevel moves up front this offseason. That said, the 2022 Broncos should have more depth here.

It is possible four positions are up for grabs, with Garett Bolles entrenched at left tackle. The team’s right tackle competition — which features veteran additions Billy Turner and Tom Compton, along with holdover Calvin Anderson — may produce the only newcomer to block for Russell Wilson, but four starters are vying for three spots inside. Dalton Risner has started at left guard for three seasons, while Lloyd Cushenberry has played every snap at center for the past two. These ex-Day 2 picks might not have total job security, but those spots appear more solidified than Denver’s right guard position.

New OC Justin Outten pointed to a Graham GlasgowQuinn Meinerz competition for the right guard spot, with the loser potentially representing a high-end swingman. Though, Glasgow said (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post) he is uncertain if guard or center will be his 2022 position. A two-year starter in Denver after signing a four-year deal in 2020, Glasgow has not yet fully recovered from the broken ankle and ligament tears he suffered last November. Meinerz, a 2021 third-rounder, started nine games as a rookie, most of them coming after Glasgow’s injury.

We want to see where they can fit and their ability to play center and snap the ball as a crucial backup,” Outten said of Glasgow and Meinerz, via the Denver Post’s Kyle Newman. “You want to have that in your back pocket. Those guys will kind of bounce around as you’ll see [in OTAs]. It’s just to see them fit in different spots and direct traffic in playing guard and helping the tackles out as far as the interior [calls].”

Meinerz, who has dropped 10 pounds to better fit Nathaniel Hackett‘s zone-blocking scheme, may have the edge, with 9News’ Mike Klis noting it is possible the Division III product has a route to the starting lineup even if Glasgow reclaims his right guard job. This scenario would put Cushenberry or Risner on notice. Hackett, however, previously gave Meinerz a strong endorsement at right guard. The Broncos also reworked Glasgow’s contract in January, reducing his 2022 base salary from $8.4MM to $3.1MM. That salary is fully guaranteed, with $1.4MM in playing-time incentives available. That incentive package tops $1MM if Glasgow reaches the 70% snap threshold, O’Halloran notes, adding that Glasgow is targeting a return by training camp.

Broncos, Graham Glasgow Rework Contract

The Broncos have reworked the contract of one of their starting offensive linemen. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, guard Graham Glasgow has agreed to restructure his contract to lower his 2022 base salary. 

The move sees Glasgow’s base salary drop from $8.4MM to $3.1MM. However, there is the possibility the 29-year-old can earn $1.4MM of that back through playing-time incentives. While the $3.1MM salary is a steep cut from its original figure, it is fully guaranteed.

Glasgow was originally drafted in the third round in 2016 by the Lions, where he spent the first four years of his career. Continuing as a full-time starter with the Broncos, he has played two years in Denver, but has been out of the lineup since Week 9 and finished the year on IR due to a broken leg.

Without the veteran blocker, the Broncos relied on third-round rookie Quinn Meinerz as their starting right guard for the rest of the season. Between the Division III standout and left guard Dalton Risner, a healthy Glasgow would give the Broncos quality options at both guard positions moving forward.

Glasgow originally signed a four-year, $44MM deal in 2020. His base salary is set to jump back up to $9.4MM in 2023, with a cap hit of $14MM for that season.

Broncos G Graham Glasgow Out For Season

The Broncos placed Graham Glasgow on IR on Tuesday. This represents an old-school IR designation, with Mike Klis of 9News noting the veteran guard will miss the rest of the season.

Glasgow suffered a broken leg against the Cowboys, ending his second year with the Broncos. Denver signed the former Detroit blocker to a four-year, $44MM deal in 2020. How Glasgow’s replacement fares may determine his future in Colorado.

Third-round pick Quinn Meinerz will take over at right guard for the Broncos, lining up opposite third-year left guard Dalton Risner. A Division III standout who impressed at the Senior Bowl, Meinerz will not be the lone backup on Denver’s offensive line to start in Week 10. The Broncos are likely to be without left tackle Garett Bolles (high ankle sprain) for a second straight week, per Vic Fangio, and Cameron Fleming is expected to start in place of right tackle Bobby Massie. Denver signed Massie and Fleming after Ja’Wuan James‘ offseason injury, and the former suffered knee and ankle injuries during the Broncos’ win in Dallas.

Additionally, Patrick Surtain II will miss time because of a knee sprain, Klis adds. The Broncos are already down slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, who is on IR, though the team held onto Kyle Fuller at last week’s trade deadline. Fuller and Ronald Darby are set to start at corner against the Eagles. Surtain is not on IR and could potentially return after the Broncos’ Week 11 bye.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/9/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Broncos G Graham Glasgow To Miss Week 4

Sunday’s Ravens-Broncos matchup will feature a host of unavailable starters on both sides. Denver may be without both its starting guards. One of them, Graham Glasgow, did not practice this week and has already been ruled out.

This will be Glasgow’s second missed game in three weeks. The veteran guard missed Week 2 with a heart issue but returned last week. A knee injury sustained against the Jets will keep Glasgow out against the Ravens, who are also missing multiple O-line starters. The Broncos signed Glasgow in free agency last year.

The Broncos might need to use two backup guards Sunday. Dalton Risner also left the team’s Week 3 win, with an ankle injury, and managed only a limited practice Friday. Netane Muti, a sixth-round pick last year, has been the team’s first guard off the bench. Rookie third-rounder Quinn Meinerz, a Division III product, followed Muti into action last week. Risner is questionable to play Sunday. Muti has shown promise in limited action this season, grading as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 overall guard.

Denver remains down three defensive starters — Bradley Chubb, Josey Jewell, Ronald Darby — and Jerry Jeudy. The team lost slot receiver K.J. Hamler for the season last week.

Some Broncos Players To Attend Workouts

The Broncos became the first team to take NFLPA president J.C. Tretter up on a proposed boycott of the voluntary offseason program. But some within the team’s ranks do intend to report.

Third-year guard Dalton Risner has trained at the team’s facility this offseason and plans to be there Monday, when the Broncos’ offseason program is set to begin.

I’ve stayed quiet through this whole process, but yeah, I’m showing up Monday,” Risner said, via Mike Klis of 9News. “I know there’s some other guys who are showing up as well. I’ve been at the facility all offseason. … If there wasn’t an offseason bonus, it wouldn’t matter. I’m coming off my second year. I have a lot of work to do. I want a second contract with the Broncos. I have a lot to prove. I respect my teammates’ decision; I really do. I love all my teammates. But for me personally, I was already in there, and I wanted to continue to work out there.”

Denver’s other starting guard, Graham Glasgow, also plans on reporting at some point. The 2020 free agency addition has a $100K workout bonus tied to his offseason attendance and said he will report when necessary to collect that. Risner and Drew Lock have $75K workout bonuses this year. Von Miller has a $500K workout bonus in the final year of his contract. Several other Broncos are undecided on attending, Klis tweets, and union rep Brandon McManus indicated multiple team calls have taken place since the NFL announced its offseason schedule.

The NFL and NFLPA have not agreed on terms for this year’s offseason. Citing COVID-19 concerns, the latter has pushed for a fully virtual program for a second straight year. While just more than half the league’s teams have released statements indicating all or many of their players will not report, some teams — like the Chiefs, who have 21 players who can collect workout-based incentives — have not. This is set to create an unusual imbalance, and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has advised players with workout bonuses to report.

No on-field work can take place until May 17, when Phase 2 of the offseason program begins. How teams’ respective attendance figures look will be interesting.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/11/20

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DL Tyrone Crawford
  • Claimed off waivers from Colts: DL Ron’Dell Carter

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets