Denver Broncos: Ron Leary’s injury impact and fallout
The Denver Broncos fear a torn Achilles for starting left guard Ron Leary. What does this mean for the offensive line going forward?
The Denver Broncos have suffered a number of injuries to key players already this season, and they might have lost starting left guard Ron Leary for the season on Sunday afternoon with what is feared to be an Achilles injury.
Leary was placed on injured reserve at the end of the 2017 season as well with a back injury that kept him out most of the offseason as well.
He signed a four-year, $36 million contract last offseason and has been a very good player when healthy, but the Broncos have only gotten 17 games out of Leary and that might be it for him if he is placed on injured reserve Monday as expected.
What’s the fallout for the offensive line then going forward?
If Leary is not able to play, the Broncos will put Max Garcia in at left guard where he played some on Sunday against the Rams, and Connor McGovern will be re-inserted into the starting lineup at right guard after he was inexplicably the scapegoat for Denver’s loss against the Jets (even though he had a bad game).
Both Garcia and McGovern excel as run blockers. This injury to Leary could finally be what propels the Broncos into being a more run-oriented offense. They were, again, unbelievably unbalanced against the Rams on Sunday in that regard. Of course, when you trail 20-3, it’s hard to keep balance.
But Bill Musgrave continues to find a way to make it happen.
In addition to Garcia sliding in at left guard and McGovern back at the right guard position, rookie and Colorado native Sam Jones will likely begin dressing on gameday.
The other question then becomes whether or not the Broncos would look into promoting another lineman off the practice squad since Billy Turner is effectively the starting right tackle until Jared Veldheer’s health improves.
The Broncos have tackle Avery Gennesy and interior lineman Austin Schlottmann on the practice squad, but if they’re worried about the depth the better move might be to call up someone like Cyrus Kouandjio, who was with the team all offseason and proved himself capable of playing right or left tackle.
Another injury to an offensive lineman and the Broncos are going to be a less-than-patchwork group, if they aren’t already.