ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** The Broncos promoted practice-squad tight end Austin Traylor to the active roster and designated A.J. Derby as waived/injured on Saturday.
Injuries hit the tight-end group hard during the week, with Derby and Jeff Heuerman sidelined by shoulder and knee issues, respectively. The injuries left the Broncos with Virgil Green as their only healthy tight end heading into Sunday's game against the Bengals.
On Friday, Head Coach Vance Joseph told media that the Broncos wouldn't go into the game without a second option at tight end behind Green, though the team hadn't decided at the time whether that would mean signing someone to the active roster or playing a tackle at tight end.
"[Green is] a pro's pro," Joseph said. "He's a tough guy, smart guy. He can catch the ball, but you need more than two, so we have to figure out a solution, whether it's going to be a tackle playing a big tight end for us, or bringing someone up. It'll be two guys, so not sure who those two guys are going to be."
Traylor, a first-year player out of Wisconsin, has been with the Broncos on the practice squad since Dec. 20, 2016. He competed with the team throughout the offseason and training camp before returning to the practice squad after the final active-roster cuts. In preseason action with the Broncos, he totaled two receptions for 23 yards.
"He's done a great job," Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy said Thursday. "The role that he's been in up to this point in time in the season, he just does what we ask him to do whether it's in the kicking game, whether it's look team for the defense or whether he steps in and took plenty of reps on offense. He just does it one way. He works extremely hard, so I'm very pleased with where he's at." Traylor previously was a member on practice squads for the Cowboys, Chargers, Patriots and Ravens.