Clady injury clouds OL status

Hoping for a quiet few months before training camp, the Denver Broncos had to deal with an injury to one of their best players.

Hoping for a quiet few months before training camp, the Denver Broncos had to deal with an injury to one of their best players.

All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady suffered a partially torn patellar tendon playing basketball, according to multiple reports, and will miss three-to-four months. He could be ready for the regular-season opener.

"It's an unfortunate situation with Ryan," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said on the NFL Network. "We're hopeful everything will be OK for the season."

The news of Clady's injury came right after the Broncos bolstered that group in the draft.

The Broncos were oddly quiet this offseason when it came to the offensive line. The biggest move they made was subtraction, cutting starting center Casey Wiegmann.

Unable to land any high-profile free agents for the offensive line, the Broncos hit the position hard in the draft. Although Denver traded down in the first round, passing on the chance to take someone like Florida center Maurkice Pouncey or Idaho guard Mike Iupati with the 11th pick, the team used the middle rounds to improve.

Utah's Zane Beadles was selected in the second round with the 45th pick. Then Denver drafted a true center -- there was none on the roster before the draft -- in the third round with Baylor's J.D. Walton. Notre Dame center Eric Olsen, who will start his career at guard, was taken on the third day of the draft.

If Clady misses some time, Beadles could fill in. He was a three-year starter at left tackle for Utah. The Broncos think he can play either tackle position, or guard. The Broncos also have some experienced depth at tackle, after Tyler Polumbus played extensively last year following right tackle Ryan Harris' injury.

--The Broncos didn't land a linebacker with any of their first few picks of the NFL draft, grabbing only Indiana's Jammie Kirlew in the seventh round -- and Kirlew was a college end.





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