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TOPIC: Colo. (AP)In a season turned sour,

Colo. (AP)In a season turned sour, 3 months 6 days ago #28872

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ENGLEWOOD Menelik Watson Jersey , Colo. (AP)In a season turned sour, add Ronald Leary’s injury to the long list of the Denver Broncos’ misfortunes. Leary’s first season in Denver has been cut short by a back injury that sidelined the sixth-year guard the last two weeks after he started the first 11 games at right tackle. ”Ron needs rest and rehab right now, no surgery,” coach Vance Joseph said. ”He was working hard to get better but it wasn’t getting better fast enough for us. We’ve got three more weeks and it’s just smart for us to shut him down and get him healthy for next season.” Leary is the fourth member of Denver’s free agent class to miss time with an injury and the second to go on injured reserve, where he joined tackle Menelik Watson (torn calf). Nose tackle Domata Peko saw his 123-game starting streak end two weeks ago because of a knee injury and defensive lineman Zach Kerr missed four of the first five games with leg injuries. Denver’s draft class hasn’t fared much better. Tight end Jake Butt (knee), quarterback Chad Kelly (hand, knee) and receiver Carlos Henderson (thumb) all are spending their rookie seasons on IR. Returner Isaiah McKenzie, cornerback Brendan Langley and running back De’Angelo Henderson were all healthy scratches Sunday. Leary was the cornerstone of Denver’s free agent class last winter when he signed a four-year, $35 million deal with $20 million in guarantees after spending his first five seasons in Dallas. Leary was a solid addition up front even as the Broncos’ refurbished offensive line sprung leaks as former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy spread out his personnel in three-receiver sets that didn’t provide help for his struggling tackles. Connor McGovern has replaced Leary in the lineup and the Broncos signed tight end Matt LaCosse off the Giants’ practice squad Tuesday to take Leary’s roster spot. LaCosse is a third-year pro from the University of Illinois who had three catches for 22 yards in five games with the Giants from 2015-17. He played in three games with the Giants this season. ”He’s young, he’s played some football,” Joseph said. ”It’s a position where we can get better with his skill set.” The Broncos (4-9) play the Colts (3-10) on Thursday night in Indianapolis and Joseph acknowledged the film of the Colts’ 13-7 overtime loss at Buffalo in a blizzard was useless in Denver’s preparation this week. ”We tried to watch it but you can’t,” Joseph said. ”I mean, you can’t see it. You can’t see numbers. They’re wearing all white. So, it wasn’t worth watching. I watched about 15 plays and I couldn’t see anything so I turned it off.” Notes: QB Paxton Lynch (ankle) and S Justin Simmons (ankle) missed practice again Tuesday. S Jamal Carter (shoulder) and Peko were limited. Joseph said Peko ”should be able to go on Thursday night.” — In eight years at the man in charge of the football operations in Denver, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway has hired four coaches and rolled the dice on at least that many quarterbacks. Elway hired his latest head coach last week, and Elway will now continue the search for his next quarterback.“[W]e’ve got to — Case [Keenum] is probably a short-term fix — find the long-term guy for us,” Elway tells Peter King of . “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be Todd Davis Jersey , a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”However they do it, Elway knows that winning consistently hinges on the position he played.“It’s very difficult to do it year in and year out unless you find a franchise quarterback,” Elway said. “And, you know, we drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round [in 2016] and [head coach] Gary [Kubiak] was on board with Paxton and I thought he was a good fit with what Gary did. And then Gary gets sick and can’t do it anymore. Now all of a sudden we change a whole system that we had drafted a quarterback for. And once that [public] tidal wave started against him, he is getting bashed, and it’s hard for a 23-, 24-year-old kid to beat that.”Then there’s the fact that Lynch, once dumped by Denver, hasn’t been able to find another NFL home — even at a time when the rosters have enlarged to 90.It’s not just Lynch. Elway used a second-round pick on former starter Brock Osweiler. Former starter Trevor Siemian arrived via round seven, beating out Lynch in two straight open competitions before being traded to Minnesota. That move came not long after Elway committed $36 million over two years to Case Keenum, whose single year in Minnesota ended up being much better than his first tour in Denver.Elway also had a chance to acquire Colin Kaepernick in 2016, but Elway wanted the former 49ers starter to drop his guaranteed pay for that season. Kaepernick declined, and then when he became a free agent the following year Elway wasn’t interested, for obvious reasons (even though Elway tried to claim it was because Kaepernick had his chance to join the team the prior offseason and passed).The only thing we know at this point is that Kaepernick won’t be the long-term answer in Denver. Beyond that, it’s an open book and a blank page. We’ll see what Elway manages to write on it this time around, especially with no Peyton Manning or other sure-fire future Hall of Famer ready to fall into Elway’s lap.
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