The Denver Broncos expected big things from Ja'Wuan James when they signed the right tackle in free agency. He's coming back from injury vs. Houston.
The Denver Broncos made Ja'Wuan James one of the richest offensive tackles in NFL history this past offseason, at least for guys who strictly play the right tackle position, and so far they have not gotten much of a return on that investment.
James has appeared in two games, and was injured week one against the Oakland Raiders when he got rolled up on by Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Upon his return against the Indianapolis Colts, James got injured again, aggravating the same injury he was previously dealing with.
He's now missed the majority of the first 12 games of the 2019 season after signing his big contract with the Broncos, but the team expects him to play in week 14 against the Houston Texans after he was 50-50 against the Los Angeles Chargers. James' status was updated on Monday by head coach Vic Fangio.
James was a full participant in practice all last week, but wasn't quite ready to jump out there after testing his knee in pre-game warmups. The Broncos were fair to James not to rush him back, but he's got to play this week against Houston. It's time for him to earn his keep and help protect the Broncos' hopeful QB of the future, Drew Lock.
James was seen doing some warming up on the field prior to the Chargers game coming out of a left tackle stance.
Vic Fangio stated that James would be playing right tackle upon his return, but the Broncos have also flirted with the idea that James could try kicking over to left tackle if Garett Bolles continues to struggle there.
Bolles wasn't perfect but he did play a pretty good game against the Chargers, at least in pass protection.
The Broncos' offensive line has been a problem area again this year despite going into training camp with the best group of five they have had in a long time, seemingly. That hasn't translated as Ron Leary's play has dipped a bit and Bolles has seemingly regressed or at least not improved all that much.
The absence of James has amplified things, and not in a good way.
Hopefully he's able to play all of the final four games, though he may be on a 'pitch count' against Houston.