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Broncos practice report: A trade, a signing

8/20/2013

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- An obviously uber-fit 35-year-old Paris Lenon looked slightly shocked at the question Tuesday when, fresh off a newly-minted contract with the Broncos, he was asked how he’s kept himself in shape in recent weeks and months.

“Well, I work out a lot," Lenon said. “I train a lot ... I feel good."

The Broncos obviously agreed. They worked out Lenon in the morning to potentially help their depth chart at linebacker, then signed him just before practice and he was back on the field as soon as they could fit him for shoulder pads.

With Von Miller now suspended six games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and Stewart Bradley set for wrist surgery, the Broncos tabbed Lenon as a potential reinforcement. Entering his 12th year, the veteran has been both productive and durable in his career, having played in 16 games in 10 seasons and 15 games in the other. He has started 16 games in six of the past seven seasons as well. He topped 100 tackles in four of the past seven years, including 2012 in Arizona.

At 240 pounds the Broncos will give Lenon a look at the middle linebacker position in their 4-3 -- he has played on the inside of a 3-4 defense -- but he could also get a look at one of the outside spots. With Miller now out until Week 7 and if Bradley takes several weeks to recover from his surgery the Broncos are down two starters at the position.

At the moment the Broncos have moved Wesley Woodyard into the middle with Danny Trevathan on the weak side and Nate Irving expected to fill in at Miller’s strong side spot in the base defense.

“What’s important for me right now is getting the playbook and really learning it,’’ Lenon said. “That’s No. 1. It’s hard to go out there and do anything when you don’t know what you’re doing. The No. 1 objective is to learn what they do.’’

  • Center/guard Ryan Lilja, who had knee and toe surgeries earlier in the offseason, has been held out of practice the last two days with a knee issue and Chris Kuper is still working his way back from offseason ankle surgery as well as treatment for an infection in the joint. And the Broncos felt enough uncertainty there to make a trade Tuesday. Even as Von Miller’s suspension was being handed down, the Broncos sent defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the Seahawks in exchange for guard/center John Moffitt. Both teams got an up-close look at the respective players this past Saturday when Moffitt played 21 snaps on offense for Seattle in the Seahawks’ 40-10 preseason win over Denver. Siliga played 30 snaps on defense for the Broncos in the game. It is an indication the Broncos have enough concerns about Lilja and Kuper over the long haul to have traded a player they’ve invested the ast two years developing. Siliga was going to have a difficult time making the Broncos’ final 53, but he did spent the 2011 season on the Broncos’ practice squad and spent last season on the team’s roster -- he was a game day inactive in 15 regular-season games and the playoff loss to Baltimore. Moffitt was a third-round pick in the 2011 draft by the Seahawks. Seattle had tried to trade Moffitt to the Browns earlier Tuesday, but the deal was voided when the Browns had concerns about a knee injury Moffitt had suffered as a rookie in ’11. “We had an opportunity to get a good football player, a guy that was a third-round pick,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “A guy that we are familiar with. (He) played in a good college offense. He’s got some versatility. He‘s played primarily guard but he has had some center versatility in his past. He’s a guy our scouting people liked -- both pro and college and we think it helps our football team.’’

  • With Champ Bailey expected to miss the remainder of the preseason with a left foot injury, the Broncos continued to work through the combinations in the secondary in Tuesday’s practice. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who worked some at Bailey’s left cornerback spot Monday, was back at his right cornerback spot Tuesday. Chris Harris worked at the left corner with the starters in the base defense.

  • Guard Louis Vasquez, who was treated for a knee injury after the preseason loss in Seattle, was back in the lineup Tuesday after being held out of Monday’s workout.

  • Fox said Tuesday the Broncos were considering moving Woodyard into the middle linebacker spot even before Bradley’s injury. When asked after practice if Woodyard had been moved because Bradley injured his left wrist, Fox said; “That was going to be a move we made regardless.’’