The Denver Broncos know they have to consider alternatives at left tackle with Garett Bolles’ struggles, and we could see him rotated in and out vs. Indy.
There’s no denying the Denver Broncos have issues on their offensive line, but right now those issues are primarily the play of their starting offensive tackles Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson.
Wilkinson is filling in for the injured Ja’Wuan James, who is now on track to play Sunday against the Colts, if even in a limited capacity.
With Ja’Wuan James coming back, the Broncos may finally have the flexibility they need in order to replace Bolles or at least put him in a rotation with someone else out there, likely Wilkinson.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was asked about whether or not the Broncos could use a three-man rotation at tackle between Bolles, James, and Wilkinson, and he mentioned that it would depend on James’ health.
When asked if, specifically, the rotation could include Bolles coming off the field for some series, Fangio said, “It could happen that way, yeah.” (quote via Broncos PR)
This is the first we’ve really seen Fangio say anything other than “Bolles is the starter” at left tackle. He’s been using the words “for now” regarding Bolles being the starter lately, but it’s clear that not only is Bolles playing below replacement level, but he’s also not learning from his mistakes and he’s not getting any better.
Bolles was seen sort of throwing his hand in disbelief at the official in the game against Kansas City when he was called for one of his many holding penalties. Like a professional basketball player, Bolles acts like every foul that’s called on him is the worst call of all time, as though the officials don’t know what they’re doing out there.
The failure to show improvement in technique has dwindled in importance compared to Bolles’ pure lack of accountability out there. It’s impossible to get better if you can’t admit you’re wrong, and the fact that the coaches are willing to pull him from the game to get someone else in rotation is a strong enough indicator that Bolles is not making the adjustments he needs to in practices in addition to what we’re seeing in games.
It’s hard to imagine the Broncos could possibly be worse at left tackle with whatever the alternatives are on their roster.
Wilkinson was a guy this team felt had a great offseason, specifically playing the left tackle position, so maybe he’s better suited there than on the right side where he’s been getting beat on a pretty regular basis.
If he’s not good over there, do you trot out Jake Rodgers to see what he can do? How about getting the new (ish) guy Calvin Anderson up to speed?
The Broncos have some options on the active roster right now and the reality is, Bolles does not currently seem to qualify among the ‘best five’ they’ve got in the trenches.
It’s a shame because Bolles was a high draft choice, but the Broncos have to figure out how to get their quarterbacks more consistent protection out there and get guys who are willing to play with the correct technique.