Three Broncos are moving to IR. While it remains to be seen how the team will use its eight allotted activations this season, three options became available Thursday.
Cornerback K’Waun Williams, safety P.J. Locke and tackle Alex Palczewski landed on IR. Each must miss at least four games. To replace them on the 53-man roster, Denver brought back longtime nose tackle Mike Purcell, cornerback Fabian Moreau and tackle Quinn Bailey. Each was on the radar to return, and the Broncos are not deviating from their cutdown-day play.
Purcell agreed to be released to help the Broncos manage their roster. He has joined several veterans in yo-yoing off and then back onto an active roster this week. A regular Broncos contributor since he made the jump from the Alliance of American Football to the NFL in 2019, Purcell was also released and then re-signed ahead of last season. Purcell, 32, will again be expected to be a regular on Denver’s defensive line.
An ankle injury, which will require surgery, will lead to Williams’ IR placement. The longtime 49ers slot corner is going into the second season of a two-year, $5.2MM Broncos deal. Essang Bassey, who intercepted three passes during the preseason, may well be called upon to line up alongside Patrick Surtain and Damarri Mathis in nickel sets to start the season.
Moreau, however, will supply depth for the AFC West team. Moreau spent last season with the Giants, coming over after the Texans released him after the preseason. The Broncos signed the former Washington third-round pick earlier this month.
Bailey has been with the Broncos since 2019, working as a backup. Denver’s injury troubles at tackle last season led to Bailey starting his first career game. The team has Cameron Fleming in place as its swing tackle — behind starters Garett Bolles and Mike McGlinchey — but Bailey is back on the roster to provide additional depth.