Denver Broncos release QB Christian Ponder

With Peyton Manning possibly returning to the practice field this week, the Broncos are making some small changes at the quarterback position.

The team announced Tuesday that it has released quarterback Christian Ponder.

Following Manning's injuries incurred during a Week 10 loss to the Chiefs, the Broncos signed the former Vikings quarterback after Week 11 as insurance for Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian. In relief, Osweiler remained healthy and played well enough so that there was never a threat of Ponder seeing the field; he was never even activated.

If this minor move indicates anything, it's that the Broncos do not want to have four quarterbacks on the roster in case the team activates Manning soon. Coach Gary Kubiak has already indicated that Manning will not play this week against the Raiders as he continues his recovery from a plantar fascia tear. However, the coach said Monday that he could resume on-field work on Wednesday.

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