DENVER | A slew of reinforcements arrived in Denver on Tuesday following the Broncos' latest spate of injuries.
The Broncos (4-4) lost leading tackler D.J. Williams for up to a month with a left knee injury on Sunday, when they also lost running backs Michael Pittman (neck) and Andre Hall (hand) for the season and safety Marlon McCree for several weeks with a high ankle sprain.
To fill the spots, the Broncos signed linebacker Mario Haggan and defensive back Roderick Rogers to their active roster on Tuesday and also promoted running back P.J. Pope from their practice squad. They waived tight end Chad Mustard and signed former USC running back Cory Boyd and linebacker Tyson Smith to their practice squad.
Denver, which plays at Cleveland (3-5) on Thursday night, already had lost of Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey (groin) for a month, backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey (hand) and linebacker Boss Bailey (knee) at New England two weeks ago.
The Broncos are now missing their two defensive captains in Champ Bailey and Williams.
"I don't know that I've ever had both captains out on defense before, so that's a little bit different," coach Mike Shanahan said. "But that happens during the season and there is no reason to use that as any excuse. That's why you have depth on your football team."
The Broncos were deepest at linebacker this season but they've lost two starters in Boss Bailey and Williams, who was thriving on the weak side after spending last season manning the middle.
"He has been a great leader. He just leads by example. He's not a big talker, but he practices and plays the same way — full-speed all the time," Shanahan said. "He's a playmaker, he's got great speed, great tackling ability and he is just a guy who has been very consistent for us, and one of the reasons we signed him long term."
Shanahan said either rookie Wesley Woodyard or veteran Louis Green will replace Williams.
Pittman had emerged as the Broncos' starting tailback but injured his neck at New England and aggravated the injury Sunday.
Pittman said he doesn't need surgery and hopes to return for a 12th season in the NFL next year.
In the backfield when they play the Browns, the Broncos will choose between Selvin Young, who's been out for a month with a strained groin, rookie Ryan Torain, who made his debut last week after missing the first half of the season with a broken elbow, and Pope.