ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Peyton Manning will have a new left tackle protecting his blindside after the Denver Broncos placed Ryan Clady on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday.
Clady hurt his left foot Sunday when New York Giants defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins rolled up on him while the Broncos were trying to run out the clock in their 41-23 win. Clady will soon undergo surgery for whats being called a Lisfranc tear, which involves a separation of ligaments and joints in the foot.
Chris Clark, a fifth-year journeyman, will take the place of Clady the undisputed leader on the line and make his first career start at left tackle Monday night when the Broncos (2-0) host the Oakland Raiders (1-1).
Clark has long been a student of Cladys technique.
Just the way he moves, the way he sets, the way he moves his feet and hands, attention to detail. You try to mimic those things because hes been a great player and those things will help me a lot, Clark said. It helps me being here, practice, games, whatever it helps a lot.
Still, those are some big cleats for Clark to fill.
After all, Clady has been a mainstay at left tackle, never missing a start since being selected in the first round in 2008 out of Boise State. He allowed just one sack last season, the fewest in the NFL.
By keeping Manning so safe and secure, Clady made his third Pro Bowl team and was voted an All-Pro first-teamer for the second time in his career.
The Broncos also rewarded his protection of Manning by signing him to a five-year deal in July worth up to $57.5 million. Clady was slowed during training camp as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.