Kuper to miss four to six weeks with broken forearm

One of the many 2011 Broncos storylines that, shall we say, slipped under the radar, was that the offensive line was the only one in the league to start the same five players for all sixteen regular-season games.

They won't have such good fortune in 2012.

Right guard Chris Kuper is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking his forearm this morning in practice.

According to Lindsay Jones, utility lineman Manny Ramirez is expected to fill in for Kuper, as he often did early in camp while Kuper worked back from the gruesome ankle injury he suffered Week 17 against the Chiefs.

Earlier in the week, Jeff Legwold had reported that the Broncos have pondered a shift of right tackle Orlando Franklin to Kuper's spot, but in that scenario, Kuper would have replaced Zane Beadles at left guard. Chris Clark and Ryan Harris would presumably be candidates to replace Franklin at tackle, if he were to sub for the injured Kuper.

If the six-week timeline is to be correct, then Kuper would miss the first three games of the regular season against the Steelers in Week 1, at Atlanta the following week, and back home versus Houston in Week 3.

What's unclear is whether this timeline offers an allowance for Kuper to get back into game shape. Of course, that this is an arm injury should permit Kuper time to do some conditioning work, but there's also the issue of rebuilding the strength in his injured left arm.

Jones also reports that DE Jason Hunter left practice early with a triceps injury, that RB Ronnie Hillman reaggravated his hamstring injury, and that DT Ty Warren was out the second straight day for family reasons.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM