The preseason injury bug has found its way to Denver.
Broncos center Dan Koppen will miss the entire 2013 season after tearing his left ACL, the team announced Sunday. He was participating in a team drill at training camp when he was injured in a pile and carted away, according to ESPN.
“I always cringe,” coach John Fox told ESPN after practice. “You never like to see players get injured, particularly severely injured. But you understand when you do this long enough, whether you’re a player or a coach, that this happens. You know, you get them back ready. And you’ve got some guys that have worked hard off of injuries last year and it will be no different this year.”
Patriots fans know the 33-year-old center quite well after he played his college years at Boston College and his first 10 seasons in the NFL for New England. He was released by the Patriots prior to last season and was picked up by the Broncos to add depth at the center position.
That turned out to be a smart move by Denver, as its starting center J.D. Walton was injured during Week 4. Koppen played in 12 games last season in Walton’s place. Walton was supposed to be the starter again this season, but he had to have ankle surgery last month, so the Broncos re-signed Koppen.
The expectation is that Koppen will now be replaced by Manny Ramirez (no, Red Sox fans — not that Manny Ramirez), who started 11 games at right guard last year.