The Denver Broncos have signed running back JaQuan Hardy, according to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson.
Hardy was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2021. He began the season on the practice squad, but he was eventually elevated to the active roster. He went on to appear in three games; he rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Hardy was waived by the Cowboys in July.
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Injuries Continue to Pile Up for the Broncos
On Tuesday, rookie running back Tyreik McAllister exited practice with an injury, according to Mike Klis of 9news.
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett said it was hamstring injury.
“We’re going to evaluate them right now,” Hackett said per team reporter Ellie Kinney. “Ben’s had a history — I think it’s his back, is what I was told, and then [No.] 39 [McAllister] was a hamstring, so we’re going to work through that and see where we’re at.”
Last week, the Broncos lost running back Damarea Crockett to a season-ending ACL injury.
As a result, the Broncos had only four healthy running backs on their active roster prior to signing Hardy: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon III, Mike Boone, and Max Borghi.
Last season, the Broncos carried four running backs on their initial 53-man roster. Williams and Gordon are obvious locks to make the roster, and Boone has strong odds, as well. So, Borghi, McAllister, and Hardy could be competing for the final roster spot.
On Tuesday, the Broncos released their first unofficial depth chart of the season, and McAllister was listed as the fourth running back. However, we do not know the extent of his injury, and the fact that the Broncos signed Hardy could be a negative indication for McAllister’s status moving forward.
If McAllister is sidelined, Borghi could be the favorite. He was signed before Hardy, and offensive coordinator Justin Outten raved about him during minicamp.
“I thought he did some nice things,” Outten said per Klis. “He’s got a good switch; he’s patient. He waits for that lane to open and he pops it. He did a couple good things in protection as well.”
Hardy does remain a player to watch, though. He carries more NFL experience than McAllister and Borghi, and he did look impressive in limited action last season.
Broncos: Lloyd Cushenberry III is the Offensive Line’s “MVP”
Third-year center Lloyd Cushenberry III is building some positive buzz this offseason. Defensive tackle DeShawn Williams called Cushenberry the offensive line’s “MVP” in training camp, thus far.
“I’d probably say MVP of that offensive line so far is Lloyd,” Williams said per team reporter Ellie Kinney. “His flexibility, he’s stronger, he’s commanding. … Him traveling with Russ this offseason really helped. Whatever the talk that was going on about him losing his spot, I bet [that] kind of pushed him to solidify his spot.”
Cushenberry showed signs of promise in pass protection last season posting a PFF pass blocking grade of 71.3. Hopefully, he can take his game to another level this season.