“Really with Chris [Clark] it's just a matter really of starting to make decisions as we get down to our final roster," Head coach Gary Kubiak said today. "Also, it's an opportunity for him, a good opportunity for him as a player. It had nothing to do with the game—absolutely nothing. He's done his job."
The trade leaves the Broncos without an experienced left tackle. Rookie second round pick Ty Sambrailo was promoted to first-team LT, after Ryan Clady tore his ACL in May. The Broncos immediately signed Ryan Harris to compete at right tackle, where Sambrailo had been.
Clark entered training camp as the first string RT, but it didn't take long for Harris, the more experienced veteran in Gary Kubiak's zone blocking system, to leapfrog him on the depth chart.
Since then, Clark has been holding down the LT spot with the second-team offense. However, Clark was the most experienced LT on the roster. He started 14 regular season games as Peyton Manning's blindside protector in 2013, and helped pave the way for the Broncos record-setting 606-point blitzkrieg.
General Manager John Elway has made it clear recently that the offensive line is in a state of flux and that as the Broncos get closer to the regular season, he will look at making moves to bolster the OL. It's hard to see how this move reinforces that objective, however.
The signing of Evan Mathis last week certainly helps, but now the Broncos are left with Sambrailo, Harris and 2014 third round pick Michael Schofield as the only viable options at the tackle position. Harris is the only player of that triumvirate to have ever started a game in the National Football League.
The Broncos are happy with Schofield's progress, however, and are confident he can hold down the fort as the team's swing tackle.
“Obviously, [T] Chris [Clark]—we made a decision there," Kubiak said today. "We think [T] Michael's [Schofield] done a good job, so we moved on from there and are giving Michael every chance to be our swing guy. He's done a good job. That's important."
Something tells me Elway isn't done juggling the O-line.
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