Ryan Clady is injured, and a report by the Denver Post that he may need season-ending surgery has every Broncos fan in a frenzy.
It was initially reported that Clady has a foot sprain of the Lisfranc variety, not a good injury for any athlete to have ever. Still, being that it was just a sprain, Clady was expected to miss “at least a few weeks” according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.
The way the Broncos’ luck has gone with the likes of Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller, and Champ Bailey this offseason, it’s fair for fans to be freaking out about the new Clady situation, especially after the monster contract he signed this offseason to become one of the highest paid linemen in the game.
Having Clady out for an extended period of time is not news the Broncos would take kindly, but it also wouldn’t be the end of the world. On the same day the Clady news broke, the Broncos re-signed backup tackle Chris Clark through the 2015 season, less than a week after doing the same for former reserve guard Manny Ramirez, now the team’s starting center.
The Broncos had faith enough in the ability of Clark that he was the only backup offensive tackle they kept on the roster, and they showed an even bigger vote of confidence in his abilities by re-signing him for two more seasons.
Maybe I’m just the eternal optimist here, but I have faith that not only will Clady not be out for the whole season, but Clark will do an excellent job in his absence. It might take him a while to get up to speed, but Clark worked with the first-team all offseason while Clady recovered from shoulder surgery.
Clady didn’t play until the Broncos’ third pre-season game, so Clark got a lot of work in at OTAs, training camp, and in the pre-season with the starting unit.
I don’t think losing Clady would be the end of all things for the Denver Broncos, though it would certainly be a huge blow. They may have to adjust their protections offensively toward that side of the field, and having someone blocking Peyton Manning’s blind side that isn’t Clady is a frightening idea.
That being said, this Broncos team is simply too talented to count out until we see them struggle on the field. They’ve been able to not only sustain the losses of Champ Bailey and Von Miller in their first two games, they have flourished. The Broncos have done a great job of developing young talent and adopting the ‘next man up’ mentality.
Chris Clark is just the next in line. Hopefully the Broncos catch a break here and Clady isn’t out for the whole season. If he is, it will be interesting to see how everything unfolds.