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Broncos promote DL Sylvester Williams to active roster, release QB Blake Bortles

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have promoted veteran defensive lineman Sylvester Williams to the active roster from their practice squad, the team announced Saturday.

Denver released quarterback Blake Bortles in a corresponding roster move.

Williams, an eighth-year veteran, initially signed with the Broncos' practice squad on Oct. 3. A former first-round pick of the Broncos in 2013, Williams started 48 games for the Broncos during his four years with the team and tallied 94 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits. He was a starter on the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 championship team.

Williams signed with the Titans in 2017 and has appeared in games with the Lions, Dolphins and Chargers over the previous two seasons. He has yet to appear in a game in 2020.

Bortles signed with the Broncos ahead of Week 3 after Drew Lock suffered an injury in a Week 2 game against the Steelers. Bortles was not active for either of the Broncos' games since signing with the team. Lock was a full participant in practice this week and is "trending the right way" toward starting on Sunday, per Head Coach Vic Fangio. Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel remain on the team's active roster at the quarterback position.

The Broncos also announced that they have elevated linebacker Josh Watson and running back Jeremy Cox to the active roster for Sunday's game.

A new NFL rule permits teams to elevate two practice squad players per week to the game-day roster, which can consist of as many as 55 players. Forty-eight of those players can be active for the game, as long as at least eight offensive linemen are active.

Practice squad players who are elevated to the active roster on game day are twice eligible to revert to the practice squad without being exposed to waivers.

Watson, who appeared in eight games for the Broncos in 2019, was also elevated in Week 4 against the Jets.

Cox has not been elevated this year and has not appeared in an NFL game. The running back should provide depth after Melvin Gordon III was downgraded to out with an illness.

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