ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Forty-eight hours after suggesting Shiloh Keo “won’t be out of work long,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak welcomed back the fifth-year safety to his 53-man roster Wednesday.
The Broncos had released Keo over the weekend while he was serving a two-game suspension for an offseason drunken driving arrest.
“I expected to come back. I didn’t think it would be so soon,” Keo said. “But I’m just excited for the opportunity because sometimes it doesn’t come around. I’ve been part of stuff like that where you don’t get that shot. I’m just happy that it came early.”
Keo had a good training camp but was banished from team headquarters for the first two games, which Denver won in the same nail-biting fashion that marked their Super Bowl run last season.
“It was frustrating (watching), but it was fun at the same time,” Keo said, “because I grinded with these guys and I’m going to be pulling for them whether I’m on the team or not.”
Keo joined the Broncos last December and five days later played in his first NFL game since 2013 when he was with the Texans. He made a bad first impression in Denver, however, when he allowed the winning TD in a 15-12 home loss to Oakland.
But he atoned for that blunder with a crucial interception against San Diego that helped secure the AFC’s top seed and he recovered Steve Gostkowski’s onside kick to preserve Denver’s 20-18 win over New England in the AFC championship game.
The Broncos created room on their roster for Keo by releasing rookie nose tackle Kyle Peko on Tuesday.
Although rookie safety Justin Simmons has a fractured left wrist, Kubiak said Keo’s return wasn’t necessitated by concerns about depth in Denver’s secondary.
“No, it just really tells you what we thought of him when we left camp,” Kubiak said. “We think a lot of Shiloh. Good special teams player for us. When you start suiting an extra guy at a position, there’s no better guy to have on your team than a guy like him.”
Simmons, who was limited at practice Wednesday, injured his left wrist playing special teams in the Broncos’ 34-20 win over Indianapolis on Sunday. He figured it was just a sprain but on Monday he went for X-rays that revealed a hairline fracture.
“I’m probably going to just end up clubbing it up” on game day, Simmons said.
– By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer
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