NFL: Denver Broncos lose centre Dan Koppen for season; sign Steve Vallos as replacement
Last Updated: July 29, 2013 6:35pm
Dan Koppen: Denver Broncos centre ruled out with torn ACL
Denver Broncos centre Dan Koppen will miss the 2013 season with a knee injury.
Koppen, who joined Denver last year after nine seasons with New England, tore the ACL in his left knee during training camp.
It is another blow for Peyton Manning's offensive line, with several of last year's starters struggling with injuries.
"I always cringe," Denver coach John Fox said. "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."
The Broncos moved quickly to find a replacement, agreeing a contract with Steve Vallos.
Vallos has played 28 games for four different teams during his six-year NFL career. His deal in Denver is subject to him passing a physical.
Manny Ramirez, who started 11 games at right guard last season, is also in the mix for a place at centre, after filling in at the position throughout off-season workouts.
"We need that flexibility," Fox added. "When you pick your offensive line, not just for the season, but for game day, you have to pick them from the standpoint of having some flexibility.
"You've got to have a swing guard/centre, you've got to have a swing tackle/guard, for the games."