The Broncos signed veteran linebacker Keith Brooking and safety Jim Leonhard with spots on the 53-man roster in mind, but the two could be on the bubble next week simply because the team doesn’t know what they’re dealing with.
There’s a chance neither plays in the preseason, meaning the Broncos might have to make their decision sight unseen, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Leonhard was activated from the physically unable to perform list and practiced Tuesday, making him ineligible for the in-season PUP which would have given them a six-week window to wait for him to recover from knee surgery.
“It’s going to take some time to get back to 100 percent and feel totally comfortable with everything, but I like what I felt today,” Leonhard said after his first practice, which was limited to individual drills.
Brooking pulled a hamstring in his second practice, and hasn’t returned yet.
Neither of them will play Sunday against the 49ers, and that makes a short turnaround next Thursday unlikely as well.
With no real time to evaluate them, it’s hard to think either has a roster spot wrapped up. Of course, the Broncos could always cut them and bring them back after Week 1, when their full salaries for the year wouldn’t be guaranteed.
Either way, they were rolling the dice on both counts, and now may have to make an educated guess when it’s time to pick the roster.