Broncos fullback Andy Janovich is out for the season after suffering a dislocated elbow, according to Mike Klis of 9News. Janovich left Denver’s game earlier today against the Vikings. The Broncos burst out to an unexpected lead, but Minnesota eventually mounted a successful comeback, dropping Denver to 3-7 on the season.
Denver placed Janovich on IR and signed tight end Orson Charles to take his roster spot. The latter was with the Broncos in training camp but did not make the team. He was set to play for the XFL’s Washington Defenders, having been picked in the fourth round of the league’s recent draft. While those plans may not be scuttled, with XFL 2.0 not set to start until February, Charles will first receive another NFL opportunity.
A 2012 fourth-round Bengals pick, Charles has also played for the Saints, Lions, Chiefs and Browns. While he has never recorded an NFL carry, he will now be in line to take over as the Broncos’ fullback.
While the fullback position was thought to be on its last legs a few years ago, players like Janovich have led to a resurgence in the position’s value as an all-around offensive weapon. Unlike 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, Janovich is not an exceptional athlete who offers substantial value catching passes out of the backfield. Instead, Janovich follows the traditional mold of players at his position as a strong blocker in both the running and passing game. While only catching four receptions on the season, Janovich consistently plays in around 30% of the team’s snaps when healthy.
Just over a month ago, Janovich agreed to a three-year, $5.7 MM contract extension with the team and remains in their long-term plans. However, with young quarterback Brandon Allen under center, the team will have to look for a short-term solution to help the team’s backfield.