Right guard Chris Kuper has become all too familiar with the ceiling of the operating room. Just as he was easing back into practice after a fractured fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle left him sidelined since January 1, Kuper found himself back in the OR to repair a broken left forearm.
“Unfortunately it was a freak accident,” John Fox said. “His arm swung and hit someone and actually cracked the smaller bone in the arm.”
Kuper had surgery on Wednesday and he is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.
As Kuper was easing his way back into football, backup right guard Manny Ramirez was taking most of the reps with the first team. The “next man up” approach never skips a beat.
“Last year when Kuper went down, Russ Hochstein came in and did a great job, and Manny has been with the one’s almost the entire camp because Chris was limited early on when we started here,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “He’s done a great job and he’s fit right in. We’re not going to skip a beat.”
Hochstein has since signed with the Arizona Cardinals so it’s Ramirez that will get his shot. Ramirez has played in 20 games (15 starts) during his five year career. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 draft out of Texas Tech.
More importantly, however, people are wondering how the 6’3″, 313-pound lineman will gel in Peyton Manning’s offense.
“It’s probably more critical for J.D. [Walton] and for Orlandon [Franklin] to be comfortable with Manny because he’s right in between them and they’re making calls together, and so the fact that he has had an extended amount of work going back to OTA’s will be beneficial to him.”
It’s next man up until it’s last man up in Denver. Let the games begin.