Denver Broncos | News

Broncos Place Clady on Injured Reserve

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The Broncos will be without one of their offensive captains for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Wednesday morning, the team announced that three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady has been placed on injured reserve with a left foot injury.

He suffered a Lisfranc joint tear in his left foot against the New York Giants in Week 2, and it will require surgery.

On Tuesday, with the extent of Clady's injury still up in the air, wide receiver Eric Decker said the depth on the offensive line could help make up for the potential loss.

"With our mentality of next man up, I think the best part about this team is having depth," Decker said. "I think we do have a lot of guys that can fill a position. Chris Clark is one guy that is going to step up."

Clark said he's "ready to go" if his name is called to step in for Clady, which he did for the majority of the offseason, training camp and preseason as Clady was recovering from a shoulder injury. He signed a two-year contract extension on Monday.

The team also signed tackle Winston Justice on Wednesday. The eighth-year veteran has played 59 career games with 43 starts.

This Sunday will mark the first game Clady has missed in his six-year career. He is just the fourth offensive lineman in NFL history to start every game and make at least three Pro Bowls during his first five seasons -- and that streak continued through the first two games of the 2013 campaign.

It means the Broncos will start a player other than Clady at left tackle for the first time since Matt Lepsis in the Broncos' 2007 regular-season finale.

Last season, Clady earned his third Pro Bowl berth after he started all 16 of the team's regular-season games for the fifth consectutive season and allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL -- 1.0 -- among 16-game starting tackles.

In 2011, he helped the club lead the NFL in rushing with a team-record 164.5 yards per game.

Clady's 80 regular-season starts entering 2013 made him one of just three members of his 2008 NFL Draft class -- along with quarterback Joe Flacco and cornerback Brandon Carr -- to start every game during the first five years of their career.

A three-time All-Pro, Clady did not allow a full sack in his first 20 starts, according to Stats, Inc. That was the longest such streak by a tackle to begin his career since at least 1994.

In 2010, Clady was presented with Denver's Ed Block Courage Award after recovering from an offseason knee injury to start all 16 games.

He signed a five-year deal with the team in July, keeping him in Denver through the 2017 season.

"You're not just going to replace Gerry Bertier, if you remember the movie Remember the Titans. It's the same thing," Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu said of replacing Clady. "You're not going to replace him but Chris Clark did a great job all spring and in the preseason, so he's had plenty of work. It's not like he's going in unprepared or not knowing what's going on. So everybody should feel comfortable, let's go with the mentality next guy up and let's go to work."