The Denver Broncos have put punter Marquette King on injured reserve with a thigh injury and will release him when he has recovered, according to multiple sources.
Colby Wadman will take his place on the roster and handle the punting duties Sunday when the Broncos meet the New York Jets.
The Broncos signed King to a three-year, $7 million contract in April after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders.
King, 29, has disappointed in his first four games in Denver, averaging 44.1 yards on 20 punts. In six seasons with Oakland, he averaged 46.8 yards. After a rough outing in Week 3, coach Vance Joseph had harsh words about his punter.
“He has to simply punt better – no different than our corners have to play better in coverage, and we’ve got to block better,” Joseph said then. “He’s a football player and he’s got to do his job. He’s got to punt better.”
So the duties will fall on the leg of Wadman, who last appeared in a game Nov. 19, 2016, punting for UC Davis against Sacramento State. He gave himself three years of working out and training to try to make an NFL roster. He delivered pizza to make ends meet.
“It was just something where I was trying to pay the bills, pay the rent while I was living with my teammates,” Wadman said Friday, according to the team website. “I had a plan: three years after graduation. That’s what I was going to give it. I was just going to devote everything to football, work a small job like that just to pay the rent.”
He moved into his parents’ home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., last December to save money and practice full time.
Denver signed him to the practice squad on Sept. 26.
“Obviously, I haven’t kicked in two years, but being out here in practice, working out with the team, everything like that, they’re all telling me how much they believe in me,” Wadman, 23, said. “They have confidence in me.”
Special teams coordinator Tom McMahon echoed that.
“Very high confidence,” McMahon said Friday. “He does a great job hanging the ball up – good, directional punter. I like his mindset, he’s very calm here. Consistent production is what we’ve seen so far [from him].”