Broncos OL Tom Compton heads to puppy list after back surgery

Explaining his absence on the first day of training camp, Denver Broncos offensive lineman Tom Compton was sent to the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after undergoing back surgery, head coach Nathaniel Hackett revealed on Wednesday.

Players on the Active-PUP roster are eligible to return any time before the 2022 regular season, although Hackett warned Compton “go out a bit.”

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Compton, 33, joined the Broncos in March, signing a one-year free agent deal to reunite with new OL coach Butch Barry, familiar with them since their time in San Francisco. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound tackle has 123 games of NFL experience — including 44 career starts — since joining the NFL with Washington as a sixth-round pick in 2012.

Able to play in multiple positions, Compton made seven appearances at right tackle for the 49ers last season; he was Pro Football Focus’ 16th OT among 83 qualifiers, earning PFF’s fourth-best run blocking rating (89.5) while also struggling mightily in pass protection (64.6).

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Compton was added as a contender for Denver’s vacant right tackle position, but those plans went awry after Compton’s return proceedings and alleged starter Billy Turner’s ongoing knee problem also placed him on the PUP list.

“I think we’re playing this all by ear,” Hackett said of Turner’s status. “I think we just want to make sure we’re working it the right way, and Billy is so good with his body. [and] understands it. And so we just communicate. We’ve been together for a while and I know what he’s talking about. We’ll bring him in at the right time.”

With Turner and Compton sidelined, the Broncos handed Calvin Anderson the role of first-team RT during Wednesday’s practice. The club have also re-signed OT Cameron Fleming, who is expected to fight for the job.


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