Mark Barron arrives at Broncos camp ready to help at inside linebacker

Mark Barron’s wait ended Monday around 9:15 a.m.

In the Denver area since late last week, Barron needed to pass three COVID-19 tests before agreeing to terms with the Broncos and participating in his first practice.

“For the rest of the day (after each test), I was doing nothing — sitting around is not pleasant, but it was necessary,” Barron said.

Barron’s experience and skills could be necessary when the Broncos open the season Sept. 14 against Tennessee.

Starting inside linebacker Todd Davis continues to be out with a calf injury and has been replaced by Josey Jewell. Rookie Justin Strnad, being groomed for a coverage role, is out for the year following wrist surgery.

“(General manager) John (Elway) wanted to be proactive with (Barron),” coach Vic Fangio said after practice. “He’s obviously been a good player in the league and we’ll see how he can fit in. He obviously has a lot to learn in a short period of time.”

Barron was on the market since March 16 when the Pittsburgh Steelers cut him with one year remaining on his contract ($8.125 million salary). The Steelers are committed to Devin Bush and Vince Williams at inside linebacker.

“They’re both good players and somebody had to go and they had to save money somewhere and it ended up being me,” Barron said. “It was communicated to me that it wasn’t that my play wasn’t good enough.”

Barron had 82 tackles and three sacks for Pittsburgh. He began his NFL career as a first-round safety with Tampa Bay and was converted to linebacker by the Rams.

“I have a lot of experience playing the coverage role and covering tight ends and linebackers,” he said. “If that’s what they need me to do, I definitely think I can get that job done.”

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