ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –The Broncos have signed cornerback Marquice Cole and added Vinston Painter to the active roster from the team's practice squad, the team announced on Tuesday.
Those two roster spots opened as the club placed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive end Derek Wolfe on injured reserve.
Cole has played 64 career games and totaled 36 tackles with four interceptions and 14 pass breakups to go with 51 special-teams stops. The fifth-year cornerback has spent the last two seasons with New England, where he made 10 tackles with one interception and three pass breakups for the Patriots this season. New England released the veteran cornerback on Dec. 26.
Cole entered the league as a college free agent with Oakland in 2007 and spent parts of his first two years on Tennessee and New Orleans' practice squads. He was signed to the New York Jets' active roster in 2009 and played the next three seasons with the club.
Cole owns eight games of postseason experience, having tallied five tackles on defense and five on special teams.
He joins Champ Bailey, Tony Carter, Quentin Jammer, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Kayvon Webster as cornerbacks currently on the Broncos roster. Safeties Mike Adams and Omar Bolden also have NFL experience at cornerback.
Painter was the Broncos' sixth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. A coaches' pick for All-ACC honorable mention in 2012, Painter started all 13 games as a senior with the Hokies, where he saw time at defensive tackle, offensive guard and offensive tackle.
Harris Jr. was officially placed on injured reserve following the news that he tore his ACL in Denver's Divisional-Round win vs. San Diego. He ranked fourth on the team with 65 tackles and tied for the club lead with three interceptions, while ranking second with 13 pass breakups during the regular season.
Wolfe has been inactive since suffering seizure-like symptoms prior to the Broncos' trip to Kansas City in Week 13. He totaled 16 tackles with four sacks and one fumble recovery in 11 games this year.