Significant starters keep dropping like flies, and the next team to be hurt by the “disease” of season-ending injuries are the Denver Brocnos, losing starting center Dan Koppen at the beginning of training camp.
The 10-year veteran was caught in a pile during workout and was carted off the field. He had an MRI taken, where it was revealed he tore his ACL, meaning he won’t be back for the Broncos this
With Koppen out for the season, this means Peyton Manning is practicing with none but one of his offensive line from last season, as Ryan Clady is still recovering from shoulder injury, while Orlando Franklin and Chris Kuper are also recovering from surgery. Franklin is back in practice, but on a limited schedule, while Kuper has yet to return.
With Koppen now out, there’s a good chance that Manny Ramirez, who has been taking most of the snaps for Denver during their offseason practice, replaces Koppen in front of Peyton Manning. Ramirez is a guard most of the time, starting 11 games for the team last season and now might be shifted to center.
However, this isn’t the only option the Broncos have. They’ve just signed Steve Vallos, who is a center-guard with nine career starts in his six NFL seasons. It doesn’t seem like he’s the one to start, but his name is certainly in the mix, and so is Chris Kuper’s, who is probably in the worst position when it comes to chances of winning one of the guard positions for next season, possibly moving him to center and not Ramirez.
As for losing Koppen, that’s quite a hit. It’s not his first injury to keep him out for a very long time, playing only one game for the New England Patriots in 2011 as he struggled with an ankle injury. With Koppen on the field, his teams have gone 108-28 so far in his career, and it seems he’s leaving very big shoes to fill.