Broncos injury update: Could Tom Compton help the O-line this week?
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After 10 regular-season weeks on the physically-unable-to-perform list following back surgery, offensive lineman Tom Compton is on the 53-player roster and eligible to play this Sunday.
The question now is this: Will he be ready?
“There is definitely a chance I’ll play this week,” Compton said after practice Thursday. “We don’t know yet what role that will be. Could be starting, could be backing up, could be emergency backup, could not dress at all depending on other guys. It’s still up in the air right now.”
The Broncos are in a position where they could need Compton. Cam Fleming, the starter at right tackle in Weeks 1-6, moved to left tackle midway through the sixth game before injuring his quadriceps muscle. Fleming appears on track to play Sunday, but he saw limited work in each of the last two days of practice. Billy Turner replaced Fleming, but he succumbed to a knee injury last Sunday. That forced Quinn Bailey into the lineup.
Compton has flexibility to play four spots on the offensive line — all but center. But with guards Dalton Risner and Quinn Meinerz healthy, the tackle spots appear to be where he is needed most.
That’s where San Francisco needed him last year. Compton started 10 games — including all three postseason games — at right tackle last season.
But a herniated disc waylaid him in Denver this year. It flared up during OTAs.
“We tried to fight it out and get injections,” Compton said. “It wasn’t really working, so surgery was kind of my only option there. I had the surgery in July and ever since then, I’ve just been working my way back and doing the proper steps. It’s definitely been a tough deal. I’ve never had a significant injury like that.”
But it never reached a point where Compton felt he couldn’t return.
“I always felt like I’d be able to come back and play. It was just a matter of when,” he said. “After surgery, you’re trying to—the surgeons give you a window of rehab time and you kind of follow their program.
“The first twelve weeks or whatever, you’re just kind of taking it slow and slowly doing exercises as you can tolerate them. Then after those twelve weeks were up, we were out with the trainers on the side field there, just getting movement back and running around.”
And now that he’s back on the 53-player roster …
“We’re at the point where we are doing a lot more practice, doing all of the individual reps, doing scout reps, a couple of team reps,” he said.
It might not be enough to have Compton in the mix Sunday. But he’s on the right track.
ELSEWHERE ON THE ROSTER …
Browning was officially listed as limited Wednesday, but he was not on the field during the open-to-media portion of practice. He took part in individual work Thursday as he continues to work his way back from a hip injury.
Baron Browning goes through a drill: pic.twitter.com/yv8100qyUR
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 17, 2022
Browning is one of five Broncos who were limited in each of the last two days. The others were Compton, Fleming, Graham Glasgow (shoulder) and Justin Simmons (knee).
Denver downgraded ILB Jonas Griffith from full to limited work Thursday due to an ankle injury.
WR Kendall Hinton did not practice Thursday after seeing limited work Wednesday. Hinton was not on the field during the open-to-media portion of Wednesday’s work.
Four other players did not practice Thursday:
TE/FB Andrew Beck (hamstring)
WR KJ Hamler (hamstring)
WR Jerry Jeudy (ankle)
CB K’Waun Williams (wrist/elbow/knee)
Williams and Hamler will miss “weeks,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Wednesday.
DE Enyi Uwazurike practiced on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday due to an illness.