ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — George Paton had a busy day.
The Broncos made five transactions on Tuesday:
- They signed linebacker Dakota Allen, 27, from the Browns’ practice squad.
- They placed running back Chase Edmonds on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
- They signed running back Tyreik McAllister and linebacker Ray Wilborn to their practice squad.
- They released linebacker Harvey Langi from their practice squad.
- Additionally, running back Melvin Gordon cleared waivers. That means no team was interested in claiming his contract, which would have cost $836,111 for the rest of the season, plus $102,941 per game that he was active. He can now sign a new deal with any team.
Linebacker Dakota Allen, who the Broncos signed to their active roster from the Browns’ practice squad, is now playing for his sixth NFL team since entering the league as a seventh-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. Allen, who is playing his fourth NFL season, has registered 30 tackles in 36 appearances. The bulk of his work, including all three of his starts, came with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he spent the end of his rookie season, along with all of the 2020 and 2021 campaigns.
Most notably, Allen was a star of the second season of the Netflix series Last Chance U. He initially joined Texas Tech and was the team’s leading tackler in his redshirt freshman season, but he was dismissed from the team after being charged with second-degree burglary along with two of his teammates. Those charges were later dropped.
Allen transferred to East Mississippi Community College, the home of “Last Chance U,” where he put up stellar stats, including 117 tackles. He returned to Texas Tech after a season away and became a two-time All-Big-12 performer. He was the first “Last Chance U” player drafted into the NFL.
Allen will join Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton and Justin Strnad on the Broncos’ active roster. Jonas Griffth, a starter for most of the season, will likely miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. Allen is unlikely to crack the defensive rotation unless somebody is injured, though he may help with special teams.
The Rams placed linebacker Justin Hollins on waivers on Tuesday. Hollins has started seven games in his four-year career, including five this season. He was originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2019, before being waived in his second season. He’s been with the Rams ever since. Current Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero coached for the Rams for five years before leaving for Denver. He could be interested in adding Hollins, who could quickly replace Allen.
Running back Chase Edmonds, 26, joined the Broncos as part of the Bradley Chubb trade earlier this month. Edmonds had signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Dolphins this spring but faded out of the team’s gameplan during the season.
On Tuesday, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said Edmonds would miss “a lot of time” with the high ankle sprain he sustained on Sunday. Shortly thereafter, Edmonds was added to the injured reserve list, which will keep him out for a minimum of four weeks.
The Broncos now have two healthy running backs on their roster: Latavius Murray, 32, and Marlon Mack, 26. Murray is the likely starter, considering he’s led the team in carries in each of the last two weeks. Mack joined the team a few weeks ago but is yet to see the field.
Running back Mike Boone entered the season as the Broncos’ third option but has missed the past few weeks with an ankle injury of his own. He is eligible to return as soon as next week against the Ravens.
The Broncos also have two running backs on their practice squad: Devine Ozigbo and Tyreik McAllister, whom the team added on Tuesday. Ozigbo has been the emergency option all season and has experience on the field with the Jaguars for the past three seasons. McAllister joined the Broncos as a college free agent this offseason but was released before the season began.
Denver could opt to elevate Ozigbo to the active roster this week as an insurance option behind Murray and Mack, and then add Boone to the trio next week if he’s healthy.
Or, they could look to add another option to the active roster. The top candidate would probably be Darrell Henderson, whom the Rams waived on Tuesday. Henderson comes from a familiar scheme and has made 28 starts during his four NFL seasons, including seven this season. He started each of the Rams’ last three games.
Finally, the Broncos swapped out practice squad linebackers, choosing Ray Wilborn over Harvey Langi.
Wilborn initially joined the Falcons as a college free agent out of Ball State in 2020 and has spent time on multiple practice squads in the past three seasons.
Langi, 30, has bounced around the NFL and landed in Denver last month. He was elevated from the practice squad to play in last week’s game against the Raiders.