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Bronco notes: Gordon has game Sunday, court appearance Monday

Running back may have decision on whether to serve possible 3-game suspension this year or in 2021. Fumagalli, Holder promoted to 53-man roster. Tuszka activated.
Credit: AP Photo/Adam Hunger
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos running back Melvin Gordon is expected to enter a plea on his driving under the influence and speeding charges Monday morning in a Denver County courtroom, according to the Denver District Attorney's office.

Besides possible penalties issued by the court, any type of plea is expected to bring Gordon a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy. After Monday, the Broncos would have three games remaining this season, although it’s unclear whether Gordon would serve his suspension this season or wait for the start of the 2021 season.

Last year, Broncos safety Kareem Jackson entered a plea on a reduced charge to his driving under the influence infraction on December 16 and started his two-game suspension on December 17. The league and players union have since drawn up a new collective bargaining agreement that increases DUI-related suspensions from two to three games.

Gordon was arrested on October 13 for driving under the influence and going 71 mph in a 35 mph zone. He was booked after a police officer determined Gordon did not pass a field sobriety test. His court date was initially set for November 13, but it was backed up a month with an understanding he would set a plea, according to the Denver District Attorney’s office.

It’s possible the Broncos may ask Gordon to wait to serve his suspension until next year as he enters the game Sunday at Carolina as a hot running back. Gordon rushed for 131 yards on just 15 carries last week at Kansas City. 

Then again, there may be greater financial incentive for Gordon to serve his suspension this year as he would lose 3/17ths of a $1 million base salary compared to 3/17ths of a $4.5 million base salary next season.

The Broncos could also ask Gordon to refund 3/32nd of his $4 million signing bonus.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos tight end Troy Fumagalli (84) takes part in drills during an NFL football practice Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Roster moves

The Broncos made several additions to their 53-man roster Saturday. Tight end Troy Fumagalli and special teams safety Alijah Holder were promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and rookie special teams outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka was activated from injured reserve, where he had been the previous six weeks with a hamstring injury.

Fumagalli and Holder have each played in 4 games this season as practice squad elevated players who were reversed back to the practice squad immediately after each game. Now they get to stay on the 53-man roster.

The team also officially signed cornerback Nate Hairston to their 53-man roster, although he received a roster exemption until at least Tuesday because of COVID testing requirements.

The Broncos also executed their weekly elevation of practice squad linebacker Josh Watson to their game-day roster as a COVID replacement to quarterback Jeff Driskel. Watson has never been on the Broncos’ active 53-man roster this year, although this is his seventh game-day elevation, fifth as a COVID replacement.

Credit: AP Photo/Justin Edmonds
Denver Broncos guard Graham Glasgow lines up during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct.. 25, 2020, in Denver.

Three players stay home  

The Broncos downgraded right guard Graham Glasgow (foot), rookie receiver Tyrie Cleveland (non-COVID-related illness) and special teams safety Trey Marshall (shin) to out for the game Sunday. None of those players accompanied the team on its trip Saturday to Carolina. Cleveland went down as returner Diontae Spencer returns from the COVID list.

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