Broncos still waiting on their starting offensive line

AP

Left tackle Ryan Clady’s absence from Broncos workouts this spring has drawn a lot of attention, but he’s not the only starting offensive lineman who has been missing from the field.

Center J.D. Walton and guard Chris Kuper have been recovering from surgery and also missed the offseason workouts, leaving the Broncos with several questions among the guys charged with keeping quarterback Peyton Manning on his feet. Kuper hasn’t been cleared to return from ankle surgery and the team isn’t clear on Clady’s status after shoulder surgery as he’s been out of touch while trying to parley his franchise tag into a long-term deal, but Fox said the expectations is that all three linemen will be ready to go at or near the start of camp.

“I think that’s kind of been the target date all along with Kuper, J.D. and Ryan,” Fox said, via Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “We’re anticipating at some point, if not at the beginning of camp, early in camp, we will get them back full speed.”

Kuper may be ticketed for a reserve role after serious ankle injuries in the last two years and the arrival of Louis Vasquez in free agency, but the other two guys are essential parts of the offensive line and there will be some concern about the state of things up front until they prove they’re back to full speed at camp.