The Broncos placed defensive end Derek Wolfe on injured reserve, Tuesday, due to neck issues that resurfaced during Denver’s 21-14 loss to the Raiders. Wolfe was carted off the field and suffered numbness on the right side of his body. He won’t undergo surgery but is expected to need several months of rest. Wolfe joins fellow defensive linemen Jared Crick and Billy Winn on IR.
Wolfe finished his season with 21 tackles and two sacks in 11 starts. Since he was drafted by Denver early in the second round of the 2012 Draft, Wolfe has been a core member of the Broncos’ defense. He has started 80 regular season games for Denver, posting 222 tackles, 24.5 sacks eight swatted balls and a fumble recovery.
Shelby Harris, whom the Broncos signed this offseason, started in place of Wolfe last week in Miami and will likely retain the starting role for the remainder of the season. Harris played on several active rosters and practice squads in his first three NFL seasons before coming to Denver. He has been one of the few bright spots during a disappointing Broncos season. Harris blocked a potential game-tying field goal in Week 1 and has 3.5 sacks this season.
In other roster news, the Broncos signed tackle Jeremiah Poutasi to their practice squad and waived center Gabe Ikard. Tennessee selected Poutasi in the third round of the 2015 draft and started eight games for the Titans as a rookie. He was cut before his second year in Tennessee and bounced between the Jaguars’ and Rams’ practice squads and active rosters for the last season and a half.