Denver activated Danny Trevathan from short-term IR amid a quartet of roster moves, with Montee Ball and Quinton Carter heading to season-ending IR. Tight end Dominique Jones was promoted from the practice squad.
Trevathan, the Broncos' leading tackler in 2013, has been limited by broken bones in his left leg to just 58 snaps in two games this season. It's been suggested that Trevathan will be worked into Denver's defensive rotation gradually over the next few weeks. In his absence, Brandon Marshall has emerged as a well-rounded star.
Expectations for Ball to have a breakout season as Denver's feature back collapsed under a slew of injuries. The second-year player underwent an appendectomy during the preseason, and groin injuries have restricted his regular season workload to parts of five games. As with Trevathan and Marshall, Ball's injuries have opened the door for others to excel - first Ronnie Hillman, and more recently C.J. Anderson, who has fortified his status as Denver's go-to back.
Carter has battled knee problems since his college days, and they worsened while trying to avoid ramming into a soccer goalpost in 2012, back when the Broncos utilized a practice bubble. He played 16 games as a rookie in 2011, including 10 starts, but has only appeared in nine games since. His rookie deal runs out this year, and it's hard to picture the Broncos being willing to risk a roster spot on his balky knee once more. Mike Klis says Denver is likely to move on.
Jones was added to the practice squad in early September, and is in his sixth NFL stint since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2012. The 6-3 270-pounder figures to provide the Broncos with some extra blocking help in the running game, as Paul Cornick has been ruled out, Jacob Tamme is questionable, and Julius Thomas is returning from injury and isn't the greatest of blockers even when healthy.
According to Andrew Mason, there's also a good chance Chris Clark dresses for Sunday's game at San Diego. Last year's starting left tackle lost his right side gig after five games, reaching bottom the past three weeks as a healthy scratch.