Broncos sign Jarious Jackson to bolster depleted QB ranks

Updated: October 22, 2003, 12:27 PM ET

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos re-signed Jarious Jackson on Wednesday to back up Danny Kanell, the team's only healthy quarterback.

Jackson, the Broncos' third-string quarterback the past three seasons, was dropped to fourth string behind Jake Plummer, Steve Beuerlein and Kanell. He and Kanell were let go before the season began when coach Mike Shanahan decided to go with just two quarterbacks.

But Plummer broke his foot and is expected to miss at least three more weeks. And Beuerlein broke a finger on his throwing hand last weekend and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, a move that could mark the end of his 17-year career.

Kanell, re-signed after Plummer hurt a shoulder earlier in this season, played his first NFL game since 2000 when he came on for Beuerlein in Minnesota last week. Receiver Rod Smith, who has not played quarterback since high school, was his backup.

Jackson was waived by the Broncos on Aug. 31. A seventh-round draft choice by the Broncos in 2000, the 6-0, 228-pounder has appeared in four regular season games (two in 2000 and one each in 2001 and 2002) and completed seven of 13 passes (53.8 percent) for 73 yards.

The team also placed rookie defensive end Bryant McNeal on injured reserve. McNeal, who has a lower back injury, was a fourth-round pick from Clemson.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index