CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The longer Jared Crick talked to me last week, the more hope diminished. Crick has been dealing with an injury for a month, and the lack of progress has led to him having potentially season-ending disc surgery on his back. With Crick sidelined, the Broncos moved quickly, signing free agent defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin.
The Seahwawks cut Rubin after acquiring veteran Sheldon Richardson at the end of training camp. Rubin provides experience and girth. A nine-year veteran, the 6-foot-2, 310-pound Rubin combined for 39 tackles last season in Seattle. To make room on the roster for Rubin, the Broncos placed Crick on the injured reserve list, making it possible he's lost for the year.
Coach Vance Joseph indicated it is possible Rubin will be active on Sunday.
"You watch the game's tape and he's a big man. As far as the run game, he's very stout and he's got some inside pass rush," Joseph said. "I am happy to have the guy, a guy who has played football at a high level with a great defense."
Crick suffered back spasms in training camp, and never returned to a preseason game. He had good days, even training on the hill after practice. However, Crick could not sustain his progress, and with Rubin's addition, it increases the likelihood Crick is done for the year.
Rubin, once he settles in, should log significant snaps for the Broncos as they continue to fortify their rush defense.
"Wherever the coaches plug me in, I am versatile. Just plug me in and I will play," Rubin said. "I am more than thrilled to come here. I am on a winning team. I left another winning team to come to an even better team. I am happy. I can't be anything but ecstatic."
Minus Crick, the Broncos are getting healthy upfront. Zach Kerr (sprained right knee) hopes to play on Sunday. Denver has also benefited from Adam Gotsis' improvement and the valuable contributions of Shelby Harris. The Broncos know they must slow down Zeke Elliott this Sunday to beat the Cowboys.
"You know what they are going to do, and teams still don't stop them. That tells you how good they are," defensive end Derek Wolfe told Denver7. "It's going to be a battle. It's going to be a war."
Leary, Stewart updates
Right guard Ron Leary must clear a few more steps in the concussion protocol, but he is listed as questionable for Sunday. He has made steady progress this week, leaving him line to have a chance to play. Safety Darian Stewart will play, but can he be as effective with a groin injury? Stewart sets the tone in the secondary with his physical style, and will be needed Sunday, especially in coverage against Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. ... Special teams coach Brock Olivo singled out Cody Latimer's work on Isaiah McKenzie's 31-yard punt return. "He was 10 yards behind the gunner, and he caught up and made the block that sprung Isaiah. That shows his desire and effort," Olivo said. The 31-yard return was longer than any the Broncos produced last season.
Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram was fined $24,309 for illegal launching hit on Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian in Monday's game, per an NFL source.