Everyone expected the Denver Broncos to make this move, but pulling the trigger today was sooner than expected. Shortly after bringing Brandon McManus back to the team via the practice squad, today, the team promoted him to the 53-man roster and cut punt returner, Isaiah Burse.
McManus is expected to take over as the team's kickoff specialist immediately, while Burse may return to the team via the practice squad if he goes unclaimed.
Burse was seemingly handed the punt return job, after Jordan Norwood went down with a knee injury during the preseason. Burse was kept on the roster as the primary punt returner, in the hopes that he would stabilize a position, which had seen numerous Trindon Holliday fumbles in the preceding seasons. In 12 games with the team, Burse had 29 returns, averaging just 7.3 yards, with a long of 22 yards. He also fumbled three times, losing one of them.
There is no denying that McManus has a cannon for a leg, which he will be allowed to showcase again as the team's kickoff specialist. With the release of Burse, it is likely that return man and special teams ace, Omar Bolden, will take over punt return duties. Andre Caldwell, as well as Wes Welker, may also be options to fill the void.
McManus played 11 games for the Broncos this season, and ranked second in the NFL, with 48 touchbacks on kickoffs through Week 12. He also converted 9-of-13 (69.2%) on field goal attempts and 41-of-41 (100%) extra point tries.