Despite all the things that have gone right for the Denver Broncos in 2013, several things have gone wrong. It started over the summer with the loss of centers Dan Koppen and J.D. Walton and now left tackle Ryan Clady has also been lost for the year.
Clady was rolled up on during the Broncos’ win this past Sunday and he was initially diagnosed with a lisfranc sprain. The injury was expected to cost him several weeks, but after further evaluation, it appears the LT will likely need surgery. As a result, he was placed on season-ending IR.
Make no mistake about it, this is a huge loss for the Broncos. You just don’t replace Pro Bowl-caliber LTs like Clady. There’s no doubt that the Denver o-line is now weaker than it was a week ago. Peyton Manning‘s proven blindside protector is no longer there. Now, the team will turn to Chris Clark and hope that he can fill in admirably.
But as bad as this all seems, and it is bad, I’m still confident the Broncos will overcome the loss of Clady. There’s just too much talent on the roster for this one injury to completely alter Denver’s season. It might take some time for Clark to adjust and Manning might take a few more hits than he would have, but I just don’t see this changing the Broncos’ status as the AFC’s top team.
The good news for Denver is that they do have an extra day to prepare this week without Clady, as they’re playing on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. If you have to break in a new LT, that’s not a bad way to do it.