Liz Frank strikes again.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady will be placed on season-ending injured reserve thanks to a Lisfranc sprain on the bottom of his left foot.
Klis is also reporting that the injured reserve designation reserved for a player with the potential to return was not used on Clady, and he will be out for the year.
Clady was hurt in this past Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, when his leg was rolled up on by defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.
A sixth-year player out of Boise State, Clady had established himself as one of the premier offensive tackles in football, earning first-team All-Pro honors in both the 2009 and 2012 seasons. The 6-6, 315-pound Clady might be at his best in pass protection, and was tasked with protecting the blind side of Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.
Clady signed a five-year contract extension with the Broncos in July, with $33 million of the $57.5 million guaranteed.
His departure elevates fifth-year lineman Chris Clark into Clady’s spot on the depth chart, but Klis is also reporting that the Broncos will sign veteran Winston Justice to help replace Clady. Justice spent five years with the Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, who cut Justice in March.
This injury is a huge blow to the Broncos, as Clady is as close to irreplaceable as a player can get. He’s a phenomenal left tackle and has arguably the most important job in football: protecting Peyton Manning. Now he’s gone and the Broncos are left scrambling to find a way to keep Manning upright.