- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - With Peyton Manning out until at least mid-December, the Denver Broncos bolstered their depth at quarterback by signing Christian Ponder on Wednesday.

The former Minnesota Vikings first-rounder will serve as the Broncos’ third QB behind starter Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian, a rookie from Northwestern.

Ponder can’t have the number he wore at Florida State or in Minnesota - No. 7 - which belongs to Hall of Fame QB John Elway, now the team’s general manager. So, Ponder donned No. 2 instead.

Osweiler won his first NFL start last week at Chicago and Manning was fitted for a walking cast on his left foot after consulting with foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson this week.

The Vikings drafted Ponder with the 12th overall pick in 2011. He started 36 games for Minnesota but struggled to live up to expectations, throwing 38 TD passes and 36 interceptions while completing only 59.8 percent of his passes.

Ponder signed with Oakland in March but didn’t survive final cuts.

To make room on the roster for Ponder, the Broncos placed defensive end Kenny Anunike (knee) on injured reserve for the second consecutive season. Anunike appeared in just three games this season and had one tackle after undergoing knee surgery in August. He missed his rookie season last year with an elbow injury.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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