Brooking participated in his first padded practice with the Denver Broncos on Saturday, subbing for rookie Danny Trevathan (ankle) at weakside linebacker behind Wesley Woodyard.|||||||
The five-time Pro Bowler signed a one-year, $1 million deal with Denver last week to provide a savvy presence to the linebacking corps that will be without five-time leading tackler D.J. Williams for the first six weeks of the regular season while he serves a drug suspension. Williams also faces a DUI trial next week.
The Broncos have signed veteran free agent linebacker Keith Brooking.|||||||
The 15th-year pro played his last three seasons in Dallas after an outstanding 11-year run in Atlanta, where he was the Falcons' No. 1 draft pick in 1998. A five-time Pro Bowler, the 36-year-old Brooking has played in all 16 regular season games for 11 consecutive years, starting all of them in nine of those seasons. But he started just three games last year, when he was supplanted by Sean Lee. Brooking recorded 34 tackles in 2011.
Brooking, the last remaining player from Atlanta's Super Bowl team, became a free agent Friday after failing to work out a new contract with the Falcons.|||||||
The 33-year-old linebacker is a five-time Pro Bowler and the team's leading tackler each of the last eight seasons. But he struggled in pass coverage and was caught out of position when Arizona converted a third-and-16 to clinch its playoff victory over the Falcons.
Brooking's strained quadriceps muscle has improved recently, and the Falcons expect the linebacker to make his preseason debut in Thursday's exhibition finale against the Miami Dolphins. However, his time will be limited, as the team does not want to risk further aggravation of the injury.|||||||
Brooking plans to be back to full strength by the start of the regular season. In 16 games last year, he recorded 102 tackles, three interceptions and 2.5 sacks. He has topped the 100-tackle plateau each of the last four years.