ENGLEWOOD — After a disturbing number of missed tackles, injuries and ineffectiveness last Thursday, Broncos general manager George Paton moved quickly to address a glaring need at inside linebacker. Monday, the Broncos acquired Kenny Young and a 2024 seventh-round pick for a 2024 sixth-round selection.
Young, 26, profiles as someone who could start right away given the injuries to Micah Kiser, another former Ram, Curtis Robinson, and season-ending pectoral surgeries for Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson. The Broncos linebackers, including Justin Strnad and Robinson, struggled to find the fits in the running game against the Browns and failed to stop quarterback Case Keenum on a crucial fourth-and-3 scramble.
The Broncos lost Jewell after the Jacksonville game, and Johnson underwent pectoral surgery last week. They have been missed against ground attacks. The Browns, using third stringer D'Earnest Johnson, gashed the Broncos for 182 rushing yards. Cleveland also held the ball the final 5 minutes, 19 seconds because Denver could not stop the run even when the Broncos knew it was coming.
Young, a fourth-round pick in 2018 who was traded by Baltimore to the Rams as part of the Marcus Peters deal, has been a solid player for the Rams this season, starting all seven games and posting 46 tackles with two sacks. He has participated in at least 55 percent of the snaps in every game.
On Saturday, the Broncos added depth at defensive end/outside linebacker, landing Stephen Weatherly and a 2023 seventh-round pick form the Vikings for a 2022 seventh-round pick. The Broncos are dealing with aches at that position as well. Von Miller expects to play after spraining his left ankle against Washington, but more will be known as the week advances.