ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — 'Tis the season when NFL teams start losing quarterbacks to injury.
NFL teams were circling around Broncos' practice squad quarterback Jarrett Guarantano on Monday to the point Guarantano is no longer a practice squader.
To fend off the competition -- most notably the Arizona Cardinals who lost Kyler Murray to an ACL injury and Colt McCoy to a concussion last week -- the Broncos promoted Guarantano to their 53-man roster.
Guarantano, an undrafted rookie by way of Tennessee and Washington State, also got a little security as the Broncos signed him to a two-year contract that included some guaranteed money.
Guarantano, 25, played in all three of Arizona's preseason games this year and threw a touchdown pass in all of them. He spent a month on the Cardinals' practice squad before he was released. He signed two weeks ago with the Broncos' practice squad.
After losing Murray, the Cardinals would have signed Guarantano off the Broncos' practice squad last week but couldn't because the NFL doesn't allow one team to sign away a practice squad player from that week's opponent.
Gurantano was elevated to the Broncos' game-day roster last week and was the No. 2 quarterback to Brett Rypien as usual No. 1 Russell Wilson was out as a precaution from a concussion. Rypien led the Broncos to a 24-15 win, a game in which Guarantano didn't play.
After the game, Guarantano automatically reverted back to the Broncos' practice squad where several QB-needy teams inquired about signing him to their 53-man rosters.
In a free agent-type position, Guarantano's decision came down to the Broncos and Cardinals and he chose to stay put. The Broncos plan to carry three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster -- Wilson, Rypien and Guarantano -- the rest of the season.
The plan is for Wilson to start, Rypien to serve as No. 2 and Guarantano to likely be inactive -- while drawing a $124,412 prorated salary -- over the final three weeks. The 51 combined sacks taken by Broncos' quarterbacks Wilson (43) and Rypien (8) are tied with Rams' QBs for most in the NFL. So a third QB on the 53 isn't a bad idea with just three games remaining.
The Broncos meet the Rams on Christmas Sunday afternoon at SoFi Stadium in a battle of 4-10 teams that rank No. 32 (Broncos) and No. 31 (Rams) in scoring this year.
To make room for Guarantano on their 53-man roster, the Broncos placed cornerback Darius Phillips on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
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