Broncos may need new starting right tackle after Ja’Wuan James suffers torn Achilles

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With the 2021 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the Broncos appeared to be in good shape. Outside of the quarterback spot, it could be argued that they have one of the strongest rosters in the league. It was hard to find a hole for the team aside from QB, and with rumors swirling about them having a shot at acquiring Aaron Rodgers, it looked like they might be a legitimate Super Bowl contender if they could pull off a trade.

However, it looks like they now do have at least one glaring hole on their team after an Achilles injury suffered by starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that James tore his Achilles in an off-site workout. Because the injury occurred outside of the Broncos’ facility, Denver can choose to void James’ $10 million base salary this year.

That would be a tough break for James depending on what the Broncos decide to do. He is in the second of a four-year contract he signed during the 2019 offseason, but he has been dogged by health concerns during that time. In fact, the 28-year-old tackle has played in just three games for the Broncos so far. He dealt with a knee injury that sidelined him for all but three contests during the ’19 season and chose to opt out last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: NFL Power Rankings — Are QB issues holding Broncos back?

With his latest injury in the books, the Broncos may try to move on from James to avoid paying him eight figures this season and beyond.

That said, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that James’ doctors are hopeful that he won’t miss the entire season. So, perhaps Denver could choose to keep James in the hope that he can make a recovery in time to help out with the stretch run.