Broncos forced to sign long snapper for at least Chiefs game

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Just three days before a key AFC West matchup with Kansas City, the Denver Broncos had to find a temporary replacement for long snapper Casey Kreiter.

Kreiter suffered a calf injury in Wednesday’s practice and then did not practice Thursday or Friday. Coach Gary Kubiak officially ruled Kreiter out of Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs and the Broncos signed 33-year-old Thomas Gafford to play at least this week.

"He’s been in the league a few years, (special teams coordinator) Joe (DeCamillis) knows him," Kubiak said. "Lot of work to do catching him up (Friday) ... he did a good job."

"You always have your list," said DeCamillis, who coached Gafford with Chicago.

Gafford has played for the Chiefs, Bears and Oakland in his previous eight years in the league. Gafford had not been with a team this season, but said after Friday's practice he had maintained workouts, including snapping twice a week, in case a team wanted to bring him in.

"I went into the season committing to myself, I was going to keep myself ready for anything at any time," Gafford said. "... Been working hard to stay ready."

Gafford’s addition has given the Broncos' roster a rather odd look at the moment. They waived nose tackle Darius Kilgo, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft, to make room for Gafford.

Teams around the league can put in a waiver claim for Kilgo over the next 24 hours. If a team does claim him, the Broncos would lose him, but if he clears waivers the Broncos could bring him back later if they wished.

"Darius is a good kid, we’ll see what happens," Kubiak said. "... Day-to-day problems right now, trying to solve problems and get ready for Kansas City."

It all means the Broncos have a roster (after the addition of receiver Marlon Brown earlier) with seven wide receivers, two long snappers and just five defensive linemen.

"Those rosters are week-to-week this time of year," Kubiak said. "... Trying to go week to week, be as good as we can be. That was a tough issue to deal with on a short-notice basis."