Most of us can agree that the Denver Broncos are the clear favorites to win the AFC in 2013. With nearly everybody returning from last year’s top-seeded squad, it’s hard not to pick Denver to make the big game. But of course, everyone will be gunning for them, and there are no guarantees in the NFL.
So as we sit here just a few days into training camp, you’d expect that everything has been easy going for the Broncos thus far. However, that’s not been the case. First, news came down that star linebacker Von Miller is facing a possible four-game suspension from the NFL, and now projected starting center Dan Koppen has gone down with a torn ACL.
Koppen started 12 games for the Broncos last season, after previously spending nine years with the New England Patriots as their starting center. He was then re-signed by the team last month, after former starter J.D. Walton had ankle surgery. Long story short, Koppen was not Denver’s first choice to play center this season.
The Broncos will now turn to Manny Ramirez, a former guard, to take Koppen’s place at center. Ramirez has never officially played center before, but he did start 11 games for Denver a season ago, so at least he’s familiar with the offense.
While this is not an ideal situation for John Fox and company, it’s nothing that’s going to derail a team of this caliber. Losing Koppen hurts, but it happened at the best possible time. Training camp is barley underway and Ramirez will have plenty of time to integrate into his new role.
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