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Broncos release James Casey to formally add Derek Wolfe to roster

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos released fullback/tight end James Casey Friday to get their roster back to 53 players.

With defensive end Derek Wolfe having returned from a four-game suspension on Monday, the Broncos had a roster exemption for the week as they gauged Wolfe’s fitness level and readiness to play in practice. With some injuries in the offensive line as well as at receiver, when it came time to make the decision on what to do the Broncos elected to release Casey to make room.

Casey was on the practice field with the team Friday as the Broncos prepared for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders. Following practice coach Gary Kubiak said a decision would be made on the roster move either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

Casey, who signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal in free agency, was told of the move Friday afternoon. Casey did not have a signing bonus in the deal -- he had a $500,000 roster bonus -- but his $750,000 base salary is guaranteed since the seventh-year veteran is a vested player.

Though the Broncos signed Casey because they had big plans for a fullback in the offense, he had missed time of late with some knee soreness. Casey had played just 20 snaps on offense in the team’s four games and did not have a reception.

Casey did play 47 snaps on special teams (41.6 percent of the Broncos’ total), so the Broncos will have to make some personnel adjustments there. If the Broncos, who have been in a two-back set with a player lined up at fullback in front of a running back just 16 snaps this season, want to use a player in that role it would likely be tight end Virgil Green or running back Juwan Thompson.