The Broncos have lost four straight after starting 3-0, and now they've taken a small gamble to improve their defense. Two days after falling to the Browns, the team has acquired Vikings pass rusher Stephen Weatherly as part of a swap of draft picks, as NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported and the Broncos have since confirmed. The 27-year-old Weatherly was in his second stint with Minnesota but had recently been seeking a "fresh start," per Peliserro, and with starting edge defenders Von Miller and Bradley Chubb both injured in Denver, the Broncos will offer him an immediate opportunity at playing time.
The Broncos have traded a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Vikings in exchange for Weatherly and a 2023 seventh-rounder.
Off the edge on their defense, Chubb hasn't played since Week 1 when he aggravated an ankle injury and subsequently underwent surgery and landed on injured reserve. Miller, meanwhile, exited Thursday night's loss with his own ankle issue and could miss time moving forward. While Weatherly doesn't boast nearly the resume of either Chubb or Miller, he brings starting experience to a unit that has struggled to keep the Broncos afloat in recent weeks.
A seventh-round pick of the Vikings in 2016, Weatherly spent his first two seasons as a reserve before seeing increased time in place of Everson Griffen. After logging six sacks in seven starts between 2018-2019, the veteran signed a two-year deal with the Panthers and opened 2020 as a full-time starter, only to land on IR with a finger injury in November. Released this February, he rejoined the Vikings and spent the first six games as part of Minnesota's pass-rush rotation.
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