Broncos sign defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Ahtyba Rubin is ready to face Ezekiel Elliott if called upon Sunday, just 48 hours after joining the Denver Broncos to fortify their defensive front.
”I definitely say I fit in a little more comfortably” than most new players would, Rubin said. ”This is my 10th year so … just put me in and I’m ready to go.”
Denver signed the 6-foot-2, 310-pound Rubin to a one-year deal on Friday and placed defensive end Jared Crick on injured reserve with a back injury that will require surgery.
Rubin insisted he doesn’t need much time to get up to speed in order to help the Broncos contain Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.
”I’m all in,” said Rubin, who arrived in town Thursday night. ”If they want me to play, I’ll play.”
Broncos coach Vance Joseph said it’s ”very possible” that Rubin could see some immediate action. The team can always use a few more rotational linemen to join Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko, Tyrique Jarrett and Shelby Harris. Zach Kerr is questionable with a sprained knee.
As for the learning curve, the schemes are nothing Rubin hasn’t dealt with over his 10-year career.
”I’m pretty sure I can come in here, get plugged in and contribute,” he said.
Rubin started every game the last two seasons in Seattle after spending his first seven seasons in Cleveland. But the Seahawks released him just before the season after acquiring former Jets lineman Sheldon Richardson.
”It was my first time going through a process like that – getting cut,” Rubin said. ”I didn’t really know what to expect. I was just sitting and waiting and staying in shape.”
Now, he’s going from one elite defense in Seattle to another in Denver, as well as swapping one dominant pass rushing teammate in Michael Bennett for another in Von Miller.
”I’m happy to have a guy who’s played so much football at such a high level like that with a great defense,” Joseph said. ”Coming here and playing with us shouldn’t be a shock for him. That’s what he’s played with the last two years.”
The Broncos figure to receive a heavy dose of Elliott, whose six-game suspension in a domestic violence case is on hold. Elliott ran for 104 yards on 24 carries against the New York Giants in the opener.
”They’re great in the run game. We’re really going to have to hunker down and make something happen,” Rubin said. ”I think we’ve got a good chance against the Cowboys or any team that tries to run against us. This defense is a great defense. Anything you put in their face, they can definitely overcome it.
”I’m more than thrilled to come here, man, on a winning team – left another winning team to come to an even better team. I can’t do nothing but be ecstatic.”
Crick, who is due $1.5 million this season in the final year of his two-year contract, started 15 games last season, collecting 53 tackles, three sacks, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
He was carted off the practice field midway through training camp with a back injury and missed the remainder of the preseason and the Broncos’ opener Monday night against the Chargers.
Crick returned to practice Wednesday, when Joseph said he had a ”great practice.” But he was out Thursday, and the Broncos decided to place him on IR. He will undergo surgery to fix an ailing disk in his back.
NOTES: Broncos OL Ron Leary (concussion) participated in the walk-through Friday. ”There are a couple more things he has to pass before he can play,” Joseph said. … S Darian Stewart (groin) remains questionable for Sunday. ”I’m hoping he continues to progress and can play in the football game,” Joseph said. … CB Brendan Langley (knee) and RB Devontae Booker (wrist) are out.
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.
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