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Vickerson to IR; Fua Signed

Posted Nov 27, 2013

The Broncos placed DT Kevin Vickerson on injured reserve Wednesday, signing DT Sione Fua in his place.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Monday afternoon, Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio relayed positive injury news.

"A couple of the injuries that we were concerned about are not going to be significant," he said.

But the one player he was waiting to hear back about was defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, who suffered a hip injury.

That news was decidedly less positive, as the Broncos placed the veteran on injured reserve Wednesday. He becomes the eighth player on the Broncos' injured reserve list -- though safety Rahim Moore has a designation for return.

To fill his spot on the roster, the team added defensive tackle Sione Fua, who will wear No. 98.

Fua played in 13 games with one start for the Carolina Panthers in 2012. The 2011 third-round pick started 11 games in his rookie campaign and totaled 32 tackles and a forced fumble in those two seasons.

The Stanford product has played in three games this year.

This season, Vickerson had started all 11 games, notching 22 tackles, a pass defensed and a sack of Tom Brady last Sunday before suffering his hip injury.

Defensive Tackles' Play-Time Analysis
Player Defensive Snaps Percentage
Terrance Knighton 412 51.1%
Kevin Vickerson* 390 48.4%
Mitch Unrein 222 27.5%
Sylvester Williams 136 16.9%
*On Injured Reserve

The eighth-year defensive tackle set career highs in games played and starts in 2012, helping anchor a line that allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game in the league.

That leaves Terrance Knighton, Mitch Unrein and 2013 first-round pick Sylvester Williams as the other tackles on Denver's roster. Knighton has started all 11 games in 2013 and Unrein has played in all 11.

Williams, who has played in eight games, saw more than 40 percent of the team's defensive snaps against New England -- his highest ratio of the season.

Earlier this month, Del Rio said Williams' relative lack of playing time had less to do with the rookie's ability and more to do with the players ahead of him on the depth chart.

“I feel like Sly is doing a good job," he said leading up to Week 11. "I think he’s done a nice job working, developing and he’s going to impact us in a positive way. He just hasn’t been called on yet.”

Now, he'll be called on to help account for the loss of Vickerson.