On June 20th, I posted about Dan Koppen agreeing to terms with the Broncos, and said, “Though they have Manny Ramirez on the roster, and he practiced at center in mini-camp all week, why fix what’s not broken?” Well here I am about 6 weeks later, biting my tongue. Koppen is broken, and we must fix it with Manny Ramirez. At least until who Koppen was covering for, Center J.D Walton returns, in, we are all hoping, November.
On Sunday in training camp, Koppen tore his ACL in his left knee. Just one bad break after the other for the Denver Broncos. However, the Broncos have been playing Ramirez in the first team since mini-camp, and again on Thursday and Friday. He also started 11 games last season as right guard, filling in for Chris Kuper.
According to sportsillustrated.com, left guard Zane Beadles was the only starting lineman to come off of last season un-injured.
“You never like to see players get injured, particulary severely injured. (…) You’ve got some guys that have worked hard off of injuries last year and it will be no different this year,” Coach John Fox said.
Even Ryan Clady, who just signed a five-year deal with the Broncos hasn’t been very active at training camp, recovering from a right shoulder injury.
Ramirez will most likely be the first choice to start when the opening game between Denver and Baltimore kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 5th. There is also C.J Davis, who can work at center and guard, and has the most experience working with Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu, according to denverbroncos.com. He came to Denver in February 2010, after having worked with Magazu in Carolina for a year in 2009-2010. Though accrding to Fox in a press conference on Sunday, C.J. Davis still did not practice due to his ankle injury.
Do not lose faith, Broncos’ fans…the way I look at it, this is the cloud before the silver lining. As a reminder: Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Champ Bailey, Von Miller, and Peyton Manning are all still healthy, plus many, many more. (Knock on wood) Maybe this week, I can finally report on some good news.