Broncos Injury News: Max Garcia could start for Evan Mathis


Denver Broncos Injury News: Rookie OL Max Garcia could start at LG if Evan Mathis is unable to play on Sunday night.

Evan Mathis has been a fine addition to the Denver Broncos’ offensive line this season, though since coming aboard he has been battling through some injury issues.

Mathis’ injury could pave the way for a rookie to make a start this week against the New England Patriots, something that would certainly make fans a bit uneasy but that the coaching staff would be very comfortable with. Garcia has played plenty this season in rotation with Mathis already, and the Broncos have used him in a variety of other ways as well.

Garcia nearly had the starting left guard position locked up this preseason before Mathis became a legitimate option for the Broncos, and now he might be getting his chance.

Now, we won’t jump to anything just yet, as Mathis apparently has a chance to make a game-time decision of whether or not he’ll play, but we just want to be ready and to prepare you for the news as well.

If Garcia is the starter and Mathis is inactive for this game, the Broncos could also activate their newest offensive lineman, former Dolphins center Sam Brenner.

The Broncos also have the versatile James Ferentz, who has played in goal line situations as a fullback this year, if need be.

Head coach Gary Kubiak was encouraged by the progress of Mathis at the end of the week.

“He looked good. I need to go back and take a peek. [C/G] Max [Garcia] has had a good week. I think it’s a game-time decision with Evan. We’ll probably work him out before the game, but he’s made up a lot of ground. He started slow with the week and ended the week pretty well, so we’ll see.”

Kubiak also said he’s got plenty of confidence in Garcia if he was needed to start.

“You know what, I have a lot of confidence in him. He’s kind of a lot like [QB] Brock [Osweiler] in a lot of ways. He’s been working really hard. I know he’s a first-year player, but if you go back, remember there was a time where Max was a starter for us near the end of camp. Then we got Evan and now Max has played a lot of football at various places, so I think that there is some experience there. This would be a tough assignment to draw with his first start, but he’s been working really hard to do it and he’s had a good week of practice.”

The Broncos’ offensive line combinations have been plenty this season. The Patriots are perhaps the only team that has had more this year. It will be interesting to see what happens and if Garcia does indeed start, how he will respond to the pressure.