ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Injuries at the right tackle position caused the Broncos to reach out to a familar player for reinforcement as veteran Cam Fleming returned to the team Wednesday.
Tom Compton, one of two veteran offensive linemen signed as free agents this offseason to compete for the Broncos' every-changing right tackle position, tweaked his lower back some time during the team's offseason program. Compton missed several OTA practices and the team's final mandatory minicamp.
When back pain persisted following the players' 5 1/2 week break, it was decided upon reporting to training camp Tuesday that it was best for Compton to have surgery to alleviate the problem.
Compton, 33, was placed on the Broncos' physically unable to perform (PUP) list and is expected to miss the entire preseason and a week or three of the regular season.
Another veteran brought in to compete at right tackle, Billy Turner, is already on the PUP list and is not expected to participate in the early part of training camp. However, there is hope Turner will be cleared before the end of the preseason.
Until then, it made sense for the Broncos to bring back Fleming to compete with Calvin Anderson at right tackle. Anderson has been performing well and is the clear man to beat for the starting job.
Fleming, who played for New England, Dallas and the Giants before signing with the Broncos last year, received a one-year, $1.12 million deal. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Fleming, 29, backed up Bobby Massie at right tackle last season and started four games.
To make room for Fleming on the roster, the Broncos waived undrafted rookie inside linebacker Kadofi Wright.
Turner continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent following his 2021 season with Green Bay. While he is recovering nicely, Turner is expected to stay on PUP another week or two.
Like Turner, Compton can play both tackle and both guard positions. In his 10th season, Compton, 33, played the past two years as a top backup/part-time starting offensive linemen with the San Francisco 49ers where Butch Barry was his offensive line coach.
Compton received a strong recommendation from Barry, who is now the Broncos' offensive line coach, and signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Broncos this offseason.
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