USAToday The Denver Broncos will play the remainder of the season without all-pro left tackle Ryan Clady, who suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. The team placed him on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday, a person informed of Clady’s status told USA TODAY Sports. The person, who also said Clady will require surgery, spoke on condition of anonymity because the Broncos have not announced the move. Clady was injured in Denver’s win at the New York Giants on Sunday. A Lisfranc injury typically entails separation of ligaments and joints in the mid-foot area. Including playoffs, Clady had started all 85 games of his NFL career since the Broncos drafted him 12th overall out of Boise State in 2008. The Broncos on Wednesday also signed veteran tackle Winston Justice, a former second-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, to take Clady’s place on the roster. Justice started 12 games at right tackle for the Indianapolis Colts last season. Denver also has two rookie tackles on the practice squad, and starting left guard Zane Beadles could shift outside if necessary. Chris Clark, who earlier this week signed a two-year contract extension, will start at left tackle beginning Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.
The Denver Broncos are rolling to start the 2013 NFL season, but losing Peyton Manning’s blindside protector who just signed a massive contract extension is a devastating injury for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Ryan Clady is an All-Pro caliber left tackle, and although Chris Clark is a capable player, he is a massive downgrade from Clady. A position of strength has become a position of weakness for the Broncos. The Broncos also signed Winston Justice, who once surrendered 6.0 sacks in one game to defensive end Osi Umenyiora, so the Broncos will be in serious trouble if anything happens to Clark or he fails to meet expectations. This injury may not hurt the Broncos right away, but at playoff time when protecting the quarterback becomes extremely important, this injury may prove devastating for Denver.