Denver Broncos bolster line with former Kansas City Chiefs tackle John Browning

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos bolstered their defensive line Wednesday by signing free agent tackle John Browning, who spent his first 11 seasons in Kansas City.

Browning sat out last season with an assortment of injuries and is coming off back surgery.

He played every position along the defensive front, seeing action in 121 regular season games, including 96 starts for the Chiefs, who selected him in the third round out of West Virginia in 1996.

Coach Mike Shanahan said Browning is "another good player that brings competition at that position. I've watched John for a lot of years, always admired the way he played. He had a back problem in 2006, so he had surgery, and one of the reasons he's here is his back feels very good. And hopefully there's no setback and he can play like he did in 2005 when we were playing against him."

The Broncos needed a reinforcement after trading tackle Gerard Warren to Oakland this week and losing Ebenezer Ekuban to a torn Achilles' tendon over the weekend. Ekuban was the starter at right defensive end who moved inside on passing downs.

In 2005, Browning started 12 games and registered 35 tackles, two sacks and a career-high four pass breakups. For his career he has 27 1-2 sacks, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.

Defensive coordinator Jim Bates said he was impressed by Browning's first practice.

"He looked good. He plays with a lot of power. He's a strong, strong guy," Bates said. "I'm interesting in looking at the tape and seeing where he fits and giving him an opportunity."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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