Denver Broncos add cornerback Darius Phillips to roster

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Nov 7, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips (23) runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have added a veteran presence to help bolster their cornerback room, signed a local product to their practice squad, and Russell Wilson’s teammates react to his massive contract extension.

What does the Broncos cornerback depth look like after the roster transaction on Thursday morning?

Denver Broncos roster moves from Thursday

The Broncos 53-man roster initially featured six cornerbacks at the league’s mandated deadline this past Tuesday.

Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Damarri Mathis, Essang Bassey, and Michael Ojemudia headlined the position room’s depth.

The Broncos placed Ojemudia (elbow) on short-term injured reserve, holding him out of action until at least Week 5 of the regular season.

This move left Denver with five cornerbacks on the roster with Surtain, Darby, and Williams having the most experience.

On Thursday, the Broncos released cornerback Essang Bassey and signed veteran player Darius Phillips to the active roster.

Phillips is a fifth-year veteran who played the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, but more recently had a brief stint with the Las Vegas Raiders.

In his five seasons, he has appeared in 47 career games, starting 10 of them.

He snagged a career-high four interceptions during the 2019 NFL season as a member of the Bengals.

His expected role will be a rotational player and key depth piece behind the Broncos starting cornerbacks.

Phillips will contribute on special teams and could fulfill depth at kick or punt returner.

Broncos add local product to practice squad

The Broncos added another player to their practice squad on Thursday, signing offensive tackle Will Sherman.

Sherman is the 14th player on the Broncos 16-man practice squad.

He’s a 6’4, 310lb offensive tackle who was drafted originally by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

In 2021, Sherman spent the year on the New England Patriots practice squad.

Now with Denver, Sherman, a second-year player could be a developmental piece that the Broncos coaching staff continues to work with.

The Broncos’ current offensive tackle room on their active roster features Garett Bolles, Calvin Anderson, Billy Turner, and veteran Cam Fleming.

Russell Wilson’s teammates react to contract extension

After Russell Wilson’s massive contract extension, various Broncos players shared their thoughts on his deal.

Second-year offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz met with the media and shared his thoughts on the impact Wilson has had on the team.

He has a wealth of knowledge,” Meinerz said on Thursday before practice. “He’s an expert of the game and everything he does off the field, matches what he does on the field. He’s just so detail-orientated with everything that he does. He’s constantly just on top of it with making sure he’s prepared for practice and making sure we’re all on the same page.”

Whether that be his command of the offense or holding team-building group dinners, Wilson has helped transcend the perception of the Denver Broncos.

Veteran safety Kareem Jackson believes that Wilson deserved the extension.

“Rightfully so, he definitely deserves it,” Jackson said on Thursday. “He’s been a great leader for us since he’s been here, on and off the field. Obviously, the offense looks a [lot] different with him under center. For us, [I] just can’t wait to see on Monday night when we go to Seattle [and see] him actually doing the things he does on a day-to-day basis here against an opposing defense. I said congrats to him on that. He definitely deserves it.”

Wilson has consistently challenged the Broncos’ defense to be at their best throughout training camp.

Now, the Broncos’ focus is straight ahead against Wilson’s former team, the Seattle Seahawks.

The Broncos will have the remainder of this week off and will be back at practice next week as game-week preparation officially begins.

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