Paul Cornick Injury Could Force Broncos to Shuffle O-Line


Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Paul Cornick (71) and center Manny Ramirez (66) and offensive tackle Michael Schofield (79) and tackle Orlando Franklin (74) and tackle Chris Clark (75) and tight end Julius Thomas (80) and tackle Ryan Clady (78) and tight end Jacob Tamme (84) during the national anthem before the start of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos haven’t exactly had stability on the offensive line over the last two years, but Peyton Manning’s ability to get rid of the ball quickly has made it, at best, a second thought for most people.

During the 2014 season, the offensive line has performed pretty average, and even below average at times, but they do a good job of keeping Peyton Manning upright and keeping his jersey clean. They’ve already replaced Chris Clark at right tackle with Paul Cornick, who didn’t participate in Thursday’s practice due to a shoulder injury. The Broncos, it’s rumored, could be making some serious shuffles along their offensive line as of Thursday.

This would be a significant development, in my opinion. Cornick has been an upgrade in the running game and is starting to hit his groove in pass protection, though that’s clearly the area he needs most improvement in. It’s odd to me that if Cornick were injured, the Broncos wouldn’t simply just move Chris Clark back into the starting lineup rather than swap out three spots, but clearly Manny Ramirez has been the worst player up front and perhaps they are taking this as an opportunity to see what they’ve got in Will Montgomery.

Montgomery was a starter for the Washington Redskins, and might prove to be an upgrade at the center position. Ramirez has been absolutely terrible at times this year. The Broncos might need to use a first round pick on the center position in the draft or spend whatever available money they have in free agency on that position. It’s been that bad.

That said, the right tackle spot hasn’t been stable with Orlando Franklin’s move to left guard, though he has excelled there and proven to be arguably the Broncos’ most consistent lineman this season.

By the way, did we mention he’s also a free agent this year?

Keep your eyes peeled, this situation could get hairy in a hurry.