It has not been a good offseason so far for the Denver Broncos after their double overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens ended their season last year.
That painful collapse has been followed by a string of offseason arrests for DUI’s and the suspension of Von Miller for the first four games of the
regular season for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
Now just days into their 2013 Training Camp, the Broncos may be in the market for some offensive line help.
Center Dan Koppen had to be carted off the field with an injury to his leg during Sunday’s practice at Broncos camp. Koppen was taken for an MRI right after getting hurt and Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post reports that Koppen tore his ACL, and injury that very well could put him on the IR and see him miss all of the 2013/14 season
It’s a big blow for the Broncos, when Koppen re-signed with the team in June it was after center J.D. Walton had surgery on the ankle he broke in 2012. Koppen stepped in for Walton last year, making 12 starts and was expected to do so again this year, but it would appear that we won’t be seeing him on the field until next season.
Manny Ramirez took over for Koppen on Sunday and he’s the only experienced option currently on the roster so reports have pointed that he will be the temporary center for Denver at training camp for now. Phillip Blake, a fourth-round choice in 2012, also plays center, but he missed almost all of his rookie season with a thumb injury. Complicating matters on the interior for the Broncos is the ongoing ankle and leg trouble that guard Chris Kuper has been experiencing since breaking his leg late in the 2011 season.
Protecting Peyton Manning is the number one priority in Denver. They signed Ryan Clady to a big contract because of it, but now they likely will need to find a suitable veteran center for this season fast, something that isn’t going to come on the cheap for the Broncos. A team that was pointed out as an early favorite to contend to win the AFC this season, the Broncos may just be too banged up by the start of the season to contend for a Super Bowl given the mileage on Manning and the loss of Koppen.