The Broncos have been scrambling to fill their right tackle position for quite some time, a saga that goes back years and has seen several players try to play the part. Menelik Watson, Donald Stephenson, Jared Veldheer and others have all given it a go, but to no avail.
This year, Denver tried to solve the issue by throwing big money at it. They gave free agent Ja’Wuan James a four-year, $51 million contract in the offseason, hoping he’d be entrenched at right tackle for the foreseeable future.
It hasn’t worked out that way. James injured his knee just 10 snaps into the season and has only appeared in parts of two games since that night. All told, he’s played less than a full game all season.
Yesterday, his replacement was the latest player to fall under the jinx of the Broncos right tackles. Elijah Wilkinson injured his ankle, left the game and was unable to return.
This came after he was called for two holding penalties during the Broncos first three drives, 10-yard setbacks that eventually led to punts. Vic Fangio didn’t know the extent of Wilkinson’s injury, so third-string right tackle Jake Rodgers may get the call on Sunday in the season finale against the Raiders.