ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –For the first time all season, jersey No. 73 was spotted on the Broncos' practice fields as offensive lineman Chris Kuper returned to practice Tuesday morning.
Kuper was activated from the PUP list that he had been on while recovering from ankle and forearm injuries that limited him to just seven games in 2013. The eighth-year pro injured his ankle in Denver's 2011 regular-season finale and then broke his forearm during training camp in 2012.
At the start of Tuesday's practice, Kuper, who has played guard throughout his first seven NFL season, took some reps at center, practicing snapping to Demaryius Thomas during the warm-up drills that precede practice.
Head Coach John Fox was asked earlier in training camp about the possibility of Kuper seeing time at center this season.
"We will consider anything that is going to better our team," Fox said. "Right now we are trying to get him healthy. We will pretty much cross that bridge when we get there. He definitely is an option, same as J.D. Walton. Right now they are not out there, so it is all a consideration."
Kuper has started 78-of-86 games in his career and was invited to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last year, despite being limited to just five starts due to the injuries. He was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2012 after persevering through a fractured/dislocated ankle suffered in the 2011 regular-season finale and a broken forearm sustained through training camp.
In 2011, Kuper was named a first-team All-Pro selection by The Dallas Morning News (Rick Gosselin) after starting all 16 regular-season games and helping the Broncos lead the league in rushing with a team-record 2,632 yards.