ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Four of the five offensive linemen that started the Broncos' 2012 opener are using this offseason to recover from injuries.
Although he didn't miss a game in 2012, tackle Orlando Franklin has three different surgeries this offseason – on his shoulder, toe and even his eyes.
"My toe is great," Franklin said. "It's 100 percent. My shoulder feels about 85 percent."
As for the eyes, Franklin had contact lenses implanted under his iris – an alternative to LASIK surgery, which he was too nearsighted to undergo.
With his eyes and toe at full strength, that just leaves Franklin's shoulder as the lingering issue.
"My shoulder was a little bit worse than my toe," he said. "My toe wasn't really a big deal. So I'm looking forward to getting after it. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to go full-go here in about two weeks when we start up."
With guard Chris Kuper, center J.D. Walton and tackle Ryan Clady all recovering from surgeries of their own, the starting offensive line might not get to practice with one another until July or August.
"It's going to take time," Franklin said. "We're not going to be as a whole unit right away, but we should be back together in the beginning of training camp. I know each guy, they had their own little deal. It's a tough season — 16 games. So there are going to be guys that go down and get hurt. I'm happy that we're all able to take care of what we needed to take care of this offseason, and we will be back in time for training camp."
With his toe healthy, Franklin has been able to work on his conditioning this offseason. He hopes to play at about 315 pounds this year – down from the 330 that he was listed at in 2012.
To accomplish that goal, Franklin has hired a nutritionist. To drop the weight, the tackle has had to avoid his biggest food vice – potato chips.
"I hate sweets," Franklin said. "But I love potato chips. If I get a bag of potato chips, it'd be 12 o'clock at night, it could be 6 a.m. in the morning. If I get a back of potato chips and you leave me alone, I could eat the whole thing. That's my weakness right there."
One of the reasons Franklin wants to play lighter has to do with new Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase's plans to pick up the tempo on offense in 2013.
"I know a lot of guys want to be in better shape because last year definitely was an eye-opener with Peyton," Franklin said. "You definitely got a little bit tired at times in the game. You don't want that to happen again this year."