Peyton Manning will be reunited with former teammate in offensive lineman Ryan Lilja. The move took place on Thursday to compensate for the loss of Dan Koppen who went down with a season-ending ACL injury last week.
The ironic part about Koppen’s injury was that he was brought in to help replace starter J.D. Walton, who will be sidelined until at least mid-season.
The move reunites two former teammates, as Lilja was with the Indianapolis Colts from 2004-2009, starting 59 games on the offensive line. Lilja played with the Kansas City Chiefs last season before retiring at the end of the year. He has since come out of retirement to help the Broncos and have Peyton Manning’s back for a second time in his career.
Denver will need to try and keep their offensive line as healthy as possible, already struggling even before the season has started. A familiar face to Manning on the offensive line will certainly help, as they both know how the other operates.
Lilja will have almost the full length of training camp and the entire preseason schedule to get back into the swing of things. It’s a great fit, as Lilja can pick up on the different calls that Manning makes in the huddle and changing calls at the line with the audible.