ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Tuesday, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips talked about his concern with the defensive line depth. The team has been without three key contributors, in Malik Jackson, Antonio Smith and Marvin Austin, in the early stages of camp.
Jackson returned to team activities today, day six of training camp, but Austin’s groin injury could take some time to heal. In the meantime, the Broncos filled the roster spot vacated by waived punter Karl Schmitz on former Bronco Sinoe Fua.
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This will be Fua’s second stint with the Broncos, after he appeared in two games in 2013, filling in for the injured Kevin Vickerson. He was on the 2013 AFC Championship Broncos roster. A former third round pick of the Carolina Panthers, Fua spent most of 2014 with the Cleveland Browns.
He appeared in 11 games, earning a -11.4 cumulative grade via Pro Football Focus. Fua is familiar to the Broncos front office and pro personnel department. Most of the NFL systems he’s played in have been even-front, but last year with the Browns, he played in a 3-4.
Used more as a 5-tech by the Browns, the Broncos likely envision him as a utility guy, who could slide inside and play the nose in a pinch. Fua is not an inspiring signing, but he doesn’t lack experience. If anything, Fua’s signing likely means that Austin’s groin is more significant than the Broncos are saying right now and they need the bodies in the trenches.
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