Report: Broncos approach Ryan Lilja about return


The Broncos, whose best-laid plans at center have been scrapped because of injuries to J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen, have approached former Chiefs center / guard Ryan Lilja about a return to the NFL, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 reported Tuesday night.

Lilja, who indicated the 2012 season would be his last, is weighing a contract offer from Denver, Marvez reported.

The 31-year-old Lilja has been a guard for most of his career, but he stepped in at center for the Chiefs when Rodney Hudson suffered a season-ending injury in 2012. Lilja started 12 games in the middle and earned a positive rating at center from Pro Football Focus, which studies player performance.

With Koppen out for the season with an ACL tear and Walton recovering from ankle surgery, the Broncos have moved guard Manuel Ramirez to center. Adding Lilja would strengthen their depth throughout the middle of their line — the value of which they know all too well.

Lilja has made 104 career regular-season starts, the bulk of which came with Indianapolis from 2004 through 2009. However, he did not play center, with those duties belonging to Jeff Saturday, who retired after the 2012 campaign and reportedly appears to be moving on to other endeavors.

But should Lilja wish to return to football, he apparently has quite the interesting job opportunity with Denver and former teammate Peyton Manning.