J.D. Walton Possibly Out for Broncos’ 2013 Season, Dan Koppen In?


J.D. Walton (50) prepares to snap the football during second quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

We’re now in the thick of the off season. Players and coaches are taking their last chunk of time off to relax, recover, and get the engine revved for the beginning of the 2013 season, which begins in late July with training camp.

Unfortunately, for some players, this is also the time when additional medical treatment is needed. That’s the case for Denver Broncos center J.D. Walton, who had another surgical procedure on his left ankle to repair some of the hardware that was inserted into the ankle to repair his dislocation from the September 30 game against the Raiders.

This surgery could leave him on the sidelines for the Broncos’ entire season. That would be the worst case scenario. Best case would be Walton returning to practice in late-October, according to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post.

This spells bad news for an offensive line that was already battered and bruised in the off season. Chris Kuper had off season ankle surgery as well. Both Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin had shoulder surgery after the 2012 season.

With Walton down and out, that leaves Manny Ramirez to fill in at starting center. The seven-year veteran played in 15 games (11 starts) for the Broncos last year.

There’s also the possibility that the Broncos could sign Dan Koppen again. Koppen came up huge last season, starting 12 games. Peyton Manning needs ole reliable getting him the ball. Ramirez didn’t work with Manning much last season at center.

Koppen, 34, remains a free agent, and already has great timing with Manning. It’s the surefire way to go, at least from an outside perspective.

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