Broncos move Phil Taylor to injured reserve, sign Billy Winn

Until the Broncos signed him earlier this year, nose tackle Phil Taylor had been out of the league since he reached an injury settlement with the Browns before the 2015 season. Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the things-change department, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Phil Taylor went from "fine" to injured reserve in the span of just over 24 hours.

The Broncos placed Taylor on injured reserve Sunday with a left knee injury and signed Billy Winn. Winn played 12 games for the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Taylor, a former Cleveland Browns first-round pick who was signed to a one-year deal earlier this offseason, injured his left knee in Friday’s practice and has not practiced since. Sylvester Williams left the same practice with a shoulder injury.

When Broncos coach Gary Kubiak was asked Saturday about the status of both players, he had expressed optimism that both would return to the practice field within days.

“The MRIs on both of them are fine," Kubiak said Saturday. “Actually, we thought Phil might be back (Saturday), but I think you could possibly see Phil (Sunday)."

However, the Broncos moved Taylor to injured reserve Sunday afternoon, after he had been on the field for the morning practice -- he didn’t participate, but he was in a jersey on the sideline. Winn had 14 tackles last season.

Because the NFL did address the rules for players on injured reserve this past March, each team can re-call one player from injured reserve during the season. And unlike previous seasons, the Broncos wouldn’t have to declare in advance which player they wanted to eventually re-call from injured reserve.

So, Taylor could be re-called to the roster at some point if the Broncos desired. The Broncos have a competitive situation on the defensive line for what is expected to be six roster spots, so Taylor, and now Winn, face tough odds to make the 53-man roster.

Initially Taylor’s body language following the play -- he tossed his helmet to the ground -- was that of a player who believed he had suffered a serious injury.

Until the Broncos signed him earlier this year, Taylor had been out of the league since he reached an injury settlement with the Browns in the final roster cuts before the start of the 2015 season, after two knee surgeries had derailed his 2014 season.

Taylor also suffered a torn pectoral muscle in 2012 and missed the first eight games of that season.