Broncos’ Depth At Linebacker Tested Again

November 7, 2014 5:08 AM

Broncos’ Depth At Linebacker Tested Again
" ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Brandon Marshall and Steven Johnson were roommates at the East-West Shrine Game in 2011 before going their separate ways as unheralded linebackers trying to make it in the NFL.

Johnson was reflecting this week on how he helped Marshall learn Denver’s defense on the scout team last year when Chris Harris Jr. walked past saying, “Next man up! Next man up!”

Johnson is expected to start Sunday at Oakland in place of Nate Irving (knee) in the Broncos’ base defense alongside Marshall, who’s been subbing for Danny Trevathan (leg).

“Shoot, I’ve been here three years now. I know the system and I’ve been champing at the bit for a long time,” said Johnson, who went undrafted out of Kansas, just like Harris. “If it’s time for me to go in there, I’m ready to take full advantage of it.”

Rookies Corey Nelson, who plays the nickel alongside Marshall, and Lamin Barrow also figure to get plenty of snaps after Irving tore his right MCL at New England last weekend and will be sidelined until next month.

Johnson has the most experience in Jack Del Rio’s defense and the most familiarity with Marshall, who makes the defensive calls "

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