CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- With their offensive line ineffective and mistake-prone over the last two weeks, the Broncos added depth Monday, claiming Billy Turner off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.
Turner, a third-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2014, bounced around the league this season. The Broncos, for now, view him as a guard, as someone you could potentially push Max Garcia and Michael Schofield for playing time. To make room for Turner, the Broncos waived guard Darrion Weems.
Turner saw time at tackle for the Dolphins and then landed with the Baltimore Ravens but never played. He is listed at 6-5, 310 pounds. The 25-year-old has appeared in 20 games, including 14 starts. The Broncos have liked Turner for awhile, and felt compelled to make a move given the recent slump up front.
The Broncos continue to search for the right combination along the line as they have struggled offensively. They were held to two first downs in the first half of last Thursday's loss to San Diego, and have not run the ball proficiently since the second game of the season. Right tackle Donald Stephenson returned from a calf injury last Thursday, but left tackle Russell Okung entered the concussion protocol after the loss to the Chargers. The line experienced its worst game, with every starter drawing a penalty.
Okung was briefly hospitalized afterward, and did not travel with the team back home. Okung tweeted he was feeling better, but clearing the protocol requires several steps. He attended practice Monday, but did not participate. That he was on the field along with receiver Cody Latimer, who also suffered a concussion, is a positive sign that they are moving forward and could be available on Monday vs. Houston.
Coach Gary Kubiak admitted rookie running back Devontae Booker has earned the right for more playing time. He isn't down on C.J. Anderson, but said Booker deserves more opportunities based on his recent production. ... The Broncos offensive line was missing a key component. Center Matt Paradis, who has played every snap the last two seasons, was not at practice during the open viewing period. He was given a rest day, according to Kubiak. Same goes for defensive end Billy Winn. Winn told Denver7 he was dealing with general soreness, and just required extra recovery time at this point in the season. ... Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware hopes to receive good news on the X-ray of his right forearm Monday. However, there remains a real possibility he will require more healing time, delaying his return to Oct. 30 against San Diego.