Broncos LT Garett Bolles Suffers Broken Leg

12:37pm: Nathaniel Hackett confirmed Friday afternoon Bolles will need surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Anderson will move into position as the Broncos’ starting left tackle.

8:39am: Injury troubles continue to mount for a Broncos team that has now endured two crushing primetime losses. Thursday’s Colts overtime defeat brought an injury to their longest-tenured offensive starter.

Sixth-year left tackle Garett Bolles sustained a broken leg during the closing minutes of regulation, Mike Klis of 9News reports (on Twitter). A six-week timetable represents the best-case scenario here, but Klis adds the Broncos fear a lengthier absence could be in store. It is a lower right leg fracture, per’s Jeff Legwold. This injury, which will remove a fifth offensive starter from the team’s equation, could sideline Bolles for the season’s remainder.

The Broncos lost wideout Tim Patrick to an ACL tear early in training camp, while Javonte Williams went down with the same injury in Week 4. Denver entered the season without both members of its right tackle competition (Billy Turner, Tom Compton) and has played without right guard Quinn Meinerz since Week 1. The team’s third-round tight end, Greg Dulcich, has also been on IR throughout the season. Bolles’ absence will represent fairly new territory for the franchise, however. The 2017 first-round pick has not missed more than three games in a season previously.

The first tackle chosen in that 2017 draft, Bolles has started all 82 games he has played in Denver. The Broncos went through a period of left tackle instability between Ryan Clady‘s run and the Bolles selection, and while the Utah product has gone through an up-and-down tenure as a pro, he has locked down Denver’s blindside post since being acquired.

Holding penalties have been a frequent issue for the talented blocker, and the Broncos declined Bolles’ fifth-year option in 2020. That season, however, provided a breakthrough — a second-team All-Pro campaign — that prompted the franchise to reverse course. Bolles, 30, signed a four-year, $68MM extension midway through that season. That contract runs through 2024. Thanks to Russell Wilson‘s recent extension, Bolles’ $21MM 2022 cap hit checks in atop the Broncos’ payroll.

Denver brought in Calvin Anderson to replace Bolles on Thursday. Turner suited up for the first time this season against the Colts but did not see any game action. A knee injury led to Turner’s extended absence to start the season. Compton is on Denver’s reserve/PUP list due to a summer back surgery. He has not yet returned to practice. A former UDFA, Anderson is playing on an RFA tender ($2.5MM) this season. He has made five career starts. That number will likely rise in the coming weeks.

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