The Denver Broncos will no longer carry two long snappers on their active roster, placing Casey Kreiter on injured reserve and going ahead with his replacement, Thomas Gafford, for the remainder of the season.
The Broncos are filling the empty spot on the 53-man roster by promoting linebacker Vontarrius Dora from the practice squad.
"Congratulations to Dora," Head Coach Gary Kubiak. "The kid has done a great job, so he gets rewarded. I think there’s a place for him. You may see him before this year is out. He’s got a bright future."
Kreiter has been inactive since the bye week due to a calf injury. Gafford has been largely anonymous since taking over for the injured Kreiter, precisely what any team expects of their long snapper.
This is big news for Dora, an undrafted rookie hailing from Lousiana Tech, finally able to crack the 53-man roster in the 15th week of the season. It's no accident that Denver chose to call up an extra linebacker considering that Brandon Marshall has yet to practice this week and Todd Davis is operating with a rib injury.
“He’s [Dora] a guy that has a big enough frame, so he could probably be an inside player at some point. For us, he’s strictly an outside linebacker.”
After receiving praise from Von Miller in training camp, Dora had his coming out party in the first week of the preseason against the Chicago Bears, notching a pair of sacks to go along with a forced fumble.
Expect Dora to provide depth behind the core group of outside linebackers while Davis, Corey Nelson, and Zaire Anderson are tasked with the crucial responsibility of matching up with New England's pass-catching backs and tight ends on Sunday afternoon.
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Will Keys is an Editor for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.