The Indianapolis Colts pulled a trick out of Bill Belichick‘s playbook by signing wide receiver Deion Branch last week. It didn’t work out so well — Branch was inactive for Saturday night’s AFC divisional-round playoff game against the New England Patriots.
The Denver Broncos are hoping for better results with a similar move ahead of this weekend’s AFC Championship Game.
The Broncos signed former Patriots cornerback Marquice Cole on Tuesday, one day after Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was diagnosed with a season-ending torn ACL.
Cole, 30, spent most of the last two seasons with the Patriots, recording 32 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception in 27 games. He played primarily on special teams and also provided depth in the secondary in 13 games this season. After being released and re-signed multiple times by the Patriots this season, Cole finally was cut for the final time on Dec. 26, ahead of the Patriots’ regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills.
The Broncos’ secondary stymied Philip Rivers during the first half of their divisional-round matchup with the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, but the second half was a different story. Without Harris, who suffered the injury in the third quarter, Rivers torched the Broncos late in the game, including two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to wide receiver Keenan Allen.
Cole likely won’t fix the Broncos’ secondary deficiencies, but he’ll at least provide some depth to a defense desperately in need of some.