The Denver Broncos had a tough opener, losing convincingly to the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football. The final result was bad enough, and things threatened to get even worse with a key injury they suffered during the game.
Starting right tackle Ja'Wuan James went down with a knee injury, and now we have an update. Fortunately the injury is not expected to be season-ending, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Rapoport writes that as of right now “it’s unclear how much time he’ll miss.” That update can be seen as both a positive and a negative. On the one hand at least it isn't season-ending, but on the other it does sound pretty serious and looks like James will miss a significant chunk of time.
Mike Klis of Denver 9 News reported that James will “miss several weeks” with a “significant knee sprain.”
The Broncos are transitioning to a new offensive system and a new quarterback in Joe Flacco, so offensive line injuries are the last thing they needed. On Monday night against the Raiders, Flacco took three sacks and he didn't always look comfortable in the pocket.
For the time being, Elijah Wilkinson will hold down the fort at right tackle. Wilkinson appeared to struggle at times, but Klis writes that the front office and coaching staff “feel good” about how he played.
Back in March, the Broncos gave James a four-year, $51 million contract that made him one of the league's highest-paid right tackles. He had spent the first five years of his career with the Dolphins.