ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos made 12 roster moves Monday to trim their roster to 78 players, leaving three additional moves for the team to make before Tuesday afternoon's deadline to get the roster to 75 players. Rosters league-wide must be to 53 players by Saturday.
The Broncos traded tackle Chris Clark to the Houston Texans and moved rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman to injured reserve. Heuerman suffered a season-ending ACL tear on the final day of the Broncos' rookie minicamp in May.
The Broncos also waived cornerback Tevrin Brandon, guard Andre Davis, fullback Joe Don Duncan, quarterback Zac Dysert, punter Spencer Lanning, safety Ross Madison, tight end Jake Murphy, running back Jeremy Stewart and linebacker Chase Vaughn. Those players will be free agents if they clear waivers.
The Broncos also released linebacker Reggie Walker, who they had signed to a one-year, $795,000 deal in May. Walker and Vaughn are the first moves at one of the most crowded spots on the roster where the cuts will be the most difficult for the Broncos to get to 53 players next week. Walker, because he is a vested player, is immediately a free agent.
Dysert, a seventh-round pick in 2013, lost the No. 3 quarterback spot to rookie Trevor Siemian. Dysert threw just five passes combined in the first three preseason games and completed two for 14 yards.
Lanning was a player the Broncos had claimed off waivers earlier this month as the team tried to sort out its decisions at both kicker and punter with the idea that one would also handle kickoffs. But when Connor Barth was released because the Broncos liked Brandon McManus at kicker, it also meant McManus could handle kickoff duties.
Broncos punter Britton Colquitt does not kick off and Lanning had handled kickoffs previously in his career. So, when McManus stayed and Barth was released, it essentially became a punting-only competition between Colquitt and Lanning.
Colquitt, who struggled some last season, responded with two quality performances and the Broncos were pleased with what they saw in practice as well.