ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos could soon get much-needed reinforcements for their offensive line.
Head Coach Vic Fangio said Monday that he was hopeful starting left tackle Garett Bolles and right tackle Bobby Massie could return in time for Denver's pivotal Week 13 game against the Chiefs. Bolles has been out since the Broncos' Week 8 win over Washington with an ankle injury and has been on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since Nov. 22, while Massie has been out with an ankle injury since Denver's Week 9 win over Dallas.
"I think both of them have a chance to play this week," Fangio said. "Garett hasn't cleared all the protocols yet. Bobby made some improvement last week — not enough to play last week — but ... we have some hope for him."
Denver's line has largely withstood injuries along the line thanks to strong play from its reserves, including Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti, Cameron Fleming and Calvin Anderson. However, the Broncos lost two more offensive linemen to injury on Sunday against the Chargers, as left guard Dalton Risner suffered a back injury and tackle Calvin Anderson was carted off the field with a knee injury.
Fangio said that he thinks Risner's injury will improve and that he's "optimistic" that Risner will be available for the Sunday night game, but Anderson will be sidelined for some time.
"Calvin's going to miss some time," Fangio said. "Don't know yet whether it would require a visit to the IR or not, but we'll probably know in the next day or two."
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who was sidelined for a little over a quarter of Sunday's win with a lower-leg injury, "came out fine" and "was doing better," Fangio said.
Fangio added that after Bridgewater's injury, he had to consider the Broncos' emergency options at quarterback if Drew Lock had gotten hurt. When a reporter asked if wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who filled in at quarterback in a 2020 game due to COVID-19 protocols, would have played in that scenario, Fangio nodded.
Denver also could get back at least one injured defensive veteran this week.
Fangio said safety Kareem Jackson, who missed the week of practice and Sunday's game with a neck injury, has "a good chance to make it," but Fangio did not yet have updates on defensive end Shelby Harris or cornerback Bryce Callahan. Harris missed the game after suffering an ankle injury during the week, but had been listed as questionable on the final injury report. Callahan, meanwhile, has been on injured reserve since Week 8 with a knee injury. The Broncos can choose to designate him for return, which would allow Callahan to practice with the team for a 21-day period as it decides whether to activate him or keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.