The Broncos announced their first round of cuts late Thursday afternoon, but the biggest news of the afternoon came with concurrent word that Rod Smith will start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Smith, who underwent hip surgery six months ago, has been in rehabilitation ever since. He was seen running following training-camp practices; however, he only began running in late July after being confined to working out in a pool in previous months.
Placement on the PUP list buys him and the Broncos 12 weeks before making a determination whether to move him to the 53-man roster or place him on injured reserve.
A player must remain sidelined as PUP for the first six weeks of the regular season. Smith then is eligible to practice for three weeks before a final decision is made — but the Broncos do not have to make that choice until three weeks after the initial six-week PUP stint concludes.
This means the Broncos actually have until Week 12 to determine whether Smith could play before being faced with the choice of moving him to the 53-man roster or injured reserve.
The latter option, of course, would end his season.
Last year, Domenik Hixon was designated as PUP after a protracted recovery from a fractured metatarsal bone; he would end up practicing for three weeks — as is permitted when placed on the PUP list — before moving to injured reserve.
The cuts were as expected based upon which players were absent from practice Tuesday, as reported earlier this afternoon.
Running back Cedric Cobbs … punter/kickoff specialist Paul Ernster … fullback Troy Fleming … safety Quentin Harris … tight end Teyo Johnson … wide receiver David Kircus … defensive end Kenard Lang … kicker Brandon Pace … wide receiver David Terrell … defensive tackle Demetrin Veal.
The Broncos also announced that Johnson, who played for the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europa this spring, will be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Fellow NFL Europa allocations Doug Neinhuis and Lamont Reid — neither of whom saw a snap of practice time this summer — were placed on the reserve/NFL Europa list for injuries they incurred during their spring overseas. Nienhuis injured his knee, while Reid suffered a pectoral-muscle injury.
Tags: Rod Smith