ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Going into training camp, it was clear that center
But a season without
The Broncos know what Carter can do when he's healthy; he has good instincts for the position, is aggressive and beat out
Placing Carter on injured reserve also appears to crystallize the depth chart at safety, especially with
Walton could come in handy if the injuries that have battered the team in recent weeks persist into the regular season.
The Broncos could face a roster crunch and a difficult decision if and when Walton comes off the physically-unable-to-perform list, but if there's a season-threatening injury to one of the interior offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, that logjam would resolve itself naturally.
And Walton has longer than October to heal. Players on the PUP list can begin practicing at any point following Week 6 and up to Week 11; there is then a 21-day period where a PUP player does not count against the 53-man roster while he practices. So conceivably, the Broncos could hold off on adding Walton to the 53-man roster until Week 15.
Should Walton heal well enough to return, he would bring experience; no matter who starts at center in the next three months, Walton will still have the most starting experience at the position, thanks to his 38 regular-season and playoff starts from 2010-12. If he's healthy, he can provide a nice boost; if he plays, he can enhance his value for the 2014 offseason, which is a crucial juncture for him given that his rookie contract expires after this year.