DENVER — The practice squad giveth, and taketh away.
The Broncos were the center of practice squad transactions Tuesday, for the good and bad. 9NEWS was the first to report the rival Las Vegas Raiders signed away guard Netane Muti from the Broncos' practice squad. A source then told 9NEWS that Broncos' general manager George Paton can play that game himself, as he signed receiver Freddie Swain away from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad.
The Broncos made room for Swain on their 53-man roster by placing running back Mike Boone on season-ending injured reserve (IR).
Swain played the previous two seasons with Broncos' quarterback Russell Wilson in Seattle, catching a combined 38 passes for 502 yards and 6 touchdown passes. The Broncos were receiver needy as both Courtland Sutton and Kendall Hinton may be down this week with hamstring injuries.
Wilson is currently in the concussion protocol but Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Monday the quarterback felt and looked "great." Wilson was obviously clear-minded enough to put in a good word for Swain.
The Raiders were in need of guards and found one hanging out on the practice squad of their rival Broncos.
The Raiders signed third-year guard Netane Muti off the Broncos' practice squad Tuesday, sources told 9NEWS.
As so it goes in the NFL when one team drafts a player and spends a couple years developing him, only to lose the player to another team as he begins to mature.
Muti, 23, was oft-injured at Fresno State, but the Broncos saw enough in him to select him in the sixth round of the 2020 draft.
Muti played in four games late in his rookie season, including playing nearly two full games at guard, then got six games at guard in 2021. He was competing with Dalton Risner for the starting left guard during OTAs this spring, then split reps with Quinn Meinerz at right guard during training camp before Muti suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.
After spending most of this regular season on the Broncos' practice squad, Muti didn't play this year until Sunday, when he was elevated from the practice squad and rotated second-half series with Quinn Bailey at left guard.
Players on practice squads can be signed to another team's 53-man roster with the guarantee they will stay on that team's active roster for a minimum three games.
The Raiders lost starting left guard Alex Bars to a knee injury last week, then waived his replacement, John Simpson. Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels were formerly with the Broncos. The Raiders swept their two-game series against the Broncos this year and have won six in a row against Denver.
Boone goes on season-ending injured reserve after suffering his second high ankle sprain in the past two months. In his two years in Denver, Boone only played in 17 of a possible 34 games because of injury. He rushed for 4.9 yards per carry but only got 28 carries. He will be a free agent at season's end.
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