The Broncos have placed J.D. Walton on the injured reserve list, ending the third-year center’s 2012 season. Walton suffered an ankle injury during the second quarter of Denver’s 37-6 win vs. Oakland on Sunday and did not return to the game.
Prior to the injury, the team’s third-round draft choice out of Baylor had missed just one snap in his career, which was due to his shoelace coming untied during his rookie season. Walton was one of just three offensive linemen who entered the NFL in 2010 to start all 36 possible regular-season games through Week 4 of the 2012 season.
Dan Koppen, who the Broncos signed on Sept. 11, filled in for Walton on Sunday. The 10th-year veteran is the NFL’s all-time winningest offensive lineman with an overall career record of 107-31 (.775 pct.). Koppen started 120-of-121 regular-season games and 14-of-14 postseason contests during the first nine seasons of his career with New England.
At Head Coach John Fox’s Monday press conference, he said that Koppen did “an excellent job” in relief duties against the Raiders.
“Dan, with more reps in practice and a better understanding of our offense, he’s capable of playing better,” Fox said. “He did a good job kind of on the job training just getting thrown out there quickly when J.D. went down. Considering all that, he did an excellent job.”
Filling Walton’s roster spot is linebacker Joe Mays, who returns from his one-game suspension this week. Mays has registered 10 tackles (5 solo) along with .5 sacks in his three starts for the Broncos in 2012.
Tight end Virgil Green had his suspension lifted on Monday, but due to a roster exemption, he will not count against Denver’s 53-man active roster prior to Sunday’s game against New England.
The team also waived linebacker Mike Mohamed, who had been signed to the active roster from the practice squad on Saturday.