Now we know that if Marlon Brown had been able to shake off his back injury in training camp, the veteran receiver would have likely made the Denver Broncos’ 53-man roster.
Apparently healthy now, Brown was signed to the Broncos’ roster Monday, giving the team a whopping seven receivers. To make room for Brown, the Broncos waived second-year cornerback Taurean Nixon.
Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak grew fond of Brown in 2014 when both were with the Baltimore Ravens. After catching 49 passes with seven touchdowns during his rookie year of 2013, Brown had 24 catches the next year with Kubiak as his offensive coordinator in 2014.
A back injury forced Brown to miss the Ravens’ final six games of 2015, leading to his eventual release. The Broncos signed him on the eve of training camp this year, but Brown didn’t last long as his back wasn’t fully healed.
“Marlon is a good player,’’ Kubiak said when Brown was signed in late-July. “He got hurt last year and played really well for me two years ago in Baltimore. He's a big kid, he knows what we're doing and he plays really well in special teams. Marlon can help this team. He's made it very competitive and I think the guys know that. I feel very fortunate to get him."
It’s clear by their recent acquisitions of Brown and tight end A.J. Derby the Broncos weren’t pleased with their pass-catching production beyond star receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
Besides Thomas, Sanders and Brown, the Broncos’ other receivers are Jordan Norwood, Jordan Taylor, Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer.
Hillman waived by Vikings
After getting just 50 yards rushing on 18 carries in a Broncos-perfect nine weeks with Minnesota, Ronnie Hillman was waived Monday by the Vikings.
His nine-week stay was perfect because it meant the Vikings picked up the full $400,000 in guaranteed salary the Broncos initially owed the running back. Offset language saved the Broncos when they made Hillman part of their final cuts in early September.
Given the thin ranks at the Broncos’ running back position following the regular season-ending knee injury to C.J. Anderson, the team may consider picking up Hillman, who played in Denver the previous four seasons.
The Broncos have the No. 28 position on the 32-team waiver wire, they may wait to see if Hillman clears waivers before possibly expressing interest in him as a free agent. Then again another team that may have interest in Hillman is Seattle, which has the No. 29 waiver position. The Seahawks lost another running back to injury Sunday in C.J. Prosise.