The Denver Broncos were just adjusting to losing ironman center Matt Paradis when another big injury hit the offensive line.
Guard Max Garcia was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered in Thursday’s practice. It was a blow to an already banged-up front just three days before facing the Los Angeles Chargers.
Coach Vance Joseph said rookie Sam Jones will move into the starting lineup.
“He was drafted, he’s been trained, so it’s his turn,” Joseph told reporters on Friday. “He’s up.”
Garcia, like Paradis, was a fixture up front every week. He has missed just one game since being drafted in the fourth round in 2015. He alternated between right and left guard this season and now he will miss his first extended time after tearing his ACL.
It happened during practice but he stayed on the field until the end. Only later was the injury diagnosed with an MRI.
“It was really weird. I watched practice from the last play, back to the first play and he didn’t miss a down,” Joseph said. “The play he was injured on, I saw it, it was kind of a slip and it was no big deal, he finished practice. Again, things happen. I’ve seen guys finish games with those kinds of injuries, so I’m surprised that it was in an injury.”
The Broncos have now lost three mainstays on the offensive line – Garcia, Paradis and Ron Leary, who went on injured reserve on Oct. 20.
Denver has some depth on the offensive line with the signing of center Gino Gradkowski on Monday.
“We move on and get ready to play games,” Joseph said. “I feel bad for Max, because Max worked so hard. He’s one of those guys who’s the same guy every day. He worked so hard to get back into the line-up and this happens.”
MARSHALL OUT: Joseph announced that linebacker Brandon Marshall will miss Sunday’s game with a knee injury. It’s the second straight game Marshall will not play.
Joseph said Marshall is progressing but needs more time before playing again.
Safety Dymonte Thomas is also out with an ankle injury.