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Broncos bring back nine cuts for practice squad; Ihenacho claimed by Washington

By Johnny Hart
Denver Broncos/NFL reporter
ESPNDenver.com
 
Less than 24 hours after the Denver Broncos slimmed down from 75 players to the final 53-man roster, the club gave nine of those cut another chance with the team though the practice squad.
 
Among those the club had hoped slipped though the waiver period, in which all other 31 NFL teams can claim any player cut in Saturday’s roster slim down, was quarterback Zac Dysert.
 
Dysert earned a spot on the 53-man roster last season, but did not see any action.
 
General manager John Elway said Saturday that the club needed to fill the roster spot Dysert occupied with another position but hoped he would slip through waivers and could join the Broncos practice squad.
 
“We felt we needed that spot for you know to keep some players or another play that we thought was going to help us now and help us special teams-wise,” Elway said.
 
Among the cuts Denver made that did not slip through the waiver wire was safety Duke Ihenacho, who was claimed by the Washington Redskins.
 
Ihenacho started 14 games for the Broncos a year ago, racking up 67 tackles, but he lost his roster spot with the addition of T.J. Ward and the return of Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore from injury.
 
Here's who the Broncos signed to its practice squad:
  • Shaquil Barrett / Linebacker / R / Colorado State

  • Kapri Bibbs / Running back / R / Colorado State

  • John Boyett / Safety / 1 / Oregon

  • Zac Dysert / Quarterback / 2 / Miami (Ohio)

  • Bennie Fowler / Wide receiver / R / Michigan State

  • Vinston Painter / Guard / 2 / Virginia Tech

  • Nathan Palmer / Wide receiver / 2 / Northern Illinois

  • Matt Paradis / Center / R / Boise State

  • Gerell Robinson / Tight end / 1 / Arizona State

 
 

Elway: Difficult decision to cut Vickerson; 'We owe Vick a lot'

By Johnny Hart
Denver Broncos/NFL reporter
ESPNDenver.com
 
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway called the NFL’s cut down day the hardest part of his job.
 
Particularly painful may be letting go one of the longest tenured Broncos and veteran defensive presence Kevin Vickerson, who was nudged out of a spot on the final 53 by fellow defensive tackle Mitch Unrein.
 
“That is always tough, especially when ‘Vick’ is a guy that’s played well for us,” Elway said after Saturday’s deadline to finalize the club’s final 53-man roster.
 
In the end it was Unrein’s youthful upside and position flexibility that did in Vickerson’s chances at surviving the final cut down.
 
Unrein, who’s joined Denver in 2010 alongside Vickerson, is now among the older defensive linemen at age 27, but still has four years on the 31-year-old veteran.
 
And Elway championed Unrein’s versatility on the defensive line –– moving outside as well as playing interior defensive line –– as a factor in the decision to waive Vickerson.
 
“… We had to make a decision on one of the two and Mitch is a little bit younger and a guy we think that has a higher standing at this point in time of his career,” Elway said.
 
Vickerson started 41 of 47 games played during his time in Denver, racking up five sacks and 82 tackles.
 
The eight year pro was perhaps one of Denver’s best defenders last season –– a year in which the club earned a Super Bowl berth –– until a dislocated hip in Week 11 sidelined him for the rest of the year.
 
“We owe ‘Vick’ a lot,” Elway said. “He played well when he played here.”

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TRAINING CAMP PLAYER TO WATCH

Brock
Osweiler
#17 QB
 
 
Height:  6-7
Weight: 240
Age:  23
College:  Arizona State
Experience:  3 years
 
Osweiler is getting the Aaron Rodgers treatment. He's developing behind a future Hall of Fame quarterback with the idea that one day, he'll get a chance to start. Broncos fans would certainly love if Osweiler became Rodgers-like if he gets that chance in Denver.
 
He's working with a larger portion of the playbook this year after being eased in the first two years of his career. Osweiler has shown great command of the offense during camp. Teammates respond well to his guidance, and he's a toughbut fairleader.
 
By: Cecil Lammey @CecilLammey on Twitter

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