Broncos tackle Orlando Franklin (74) is helped off the field after getting injured during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 35-19. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos’ Offensive Line Shifts With Orlando Franklin Injury, Chris Kuper Returns


Starting left tackle Ryan Clady is already out for the season so when starting right tackle Orlando Franklin went down in the second half of the Broncos’ 35-19 win over the Jaguars, half the crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High stood up.

Franklin gingerly walked off the field with the help of the Broncos’ training staff, but he was seen on crutches in the locker room after the game.

With Franklin out, the line looked like this from left to right: Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, Manny Ramirez, Chris Kuper, and Louis Vasquez.

Chris who? Yup, Chris Kuper.

Kuper returned to the field for the first time all season after suffering an ankle injury that required off season surgery.

“Our offensive line coach Dave Magazu does a terrific job of rotating guys,” John Fox said. “We do that a lot during training camp and even during the season. I don’t think it phased us whatsoever when that occurred.”

Even before the Franklin injury, the Broncos didn’t exactly do a great job of protecting Manning. Manning was never sacked in the game but he took hit after hit as he released the ball. Don’t believe me? The press was waiting an extra 20 minutes for him to come out of the cold tub and give his press conference.

The connection between Manning and center Manny Ramirez seemed off today as well with two botched snaps that resulted in fumbles.

“No, I’m not concerned,” Manning said of the fumbled snaps.

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Tags: Chris Kuper Denver Broncos Orlando Franklin