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Broncos practice squad quarterback leaves to the 49ers

Jarrett Guarantano had impressive preseason as an undrafted rookie for the Arizona Cardinals.

DENVER — Josh Johnson, the veteran quarterback who spent the first 13 weeks of the 2022 season on the Denver Broncos' practice squad, packed up his locker Monday morning at UCHealth Training Center and said his goodbyes to his now former teammates.

Johnson was flying out Monday to join the San Francisco 49ers, who signed him away from the Broncos following the season-ending, broken-foot injury to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday.

With the 49ers, Johnson will be on the 53-man roster and back up Brock Purdy, who played well off the bench Sunday in a win over the Miami Dolphins.

The Broncos are planning to replace Johnson with rookie quarterback Jarrett Gauratano, who will be signed to their practice squad pending his physical.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Josh Johnson rolls out during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Guarantano spent five years, playing four, with the Tennessee Vols before becoming a graduate transfer last year to Washington State. He signed as an undrafted rookie with the Arizona Cardinals this year and played well in three preseason games, throwing a touchdown pass in each without an interception.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Guarantano combined to complete 17 of 30 passes for 232 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions for an impressive 114.9 passer rating in the preseason. He spent the first month of the season on the Cardinals' practice squad. He worked out for the Broncos two weeks ago.

Brett Rypien is finishing up his fourth season as a backup quarterback for the Broncos. He started one game in relief of the injured Russell Wilson this year.



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