Before practice on Wednesday, coach Vic Fangio said the Broncos could be without both starting guards against the Ravens on Sunday as Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner are doubtful to play.
Glasgow suffered a knee injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Jets, and Reisner suffered a leg injury that took him out of the game in the second half. None of the players practiced on Wednesday.
Those two injuries – in addition to five other Broncos starters who are currently on cold storage – have been a worry for Fangio in the middle of the team’s 3-0 start, even though he believes in the team’s backup guard.
Fangio said, “(The depth of the offensive line) is being tested too early for my liking, but if you can bring in a guy like (Netane) Muti and (Quinn) Meinerz, that’s good for us. ”
Muti, a second year pro out of Fresno State, debuted for Glasgow in Week 2, when Arrhythmia later stopped playing in a victory at Jacksonville. This marked the second start of Muti’s career, while Meinerz (the Broncos’ third-round pick from Wis.-Whitewater this year) filled in for Reisner after the starter was injured against the Jets.
Fangio clearly has more faith in Muti than Meinerz, who lost the fight to Lloyd Cushberry for the starting center job and looked inconsistent.
“I’m a fan of (Muti),” Fangio said on Monday. ‘I think he’s an NFL player. He can go there whenever he wants and play the role of guard. If he has something to play this week, he’ll be ready.
Meanwhile, Fangio gave Meinerz one such assessment after coming into relief against New York last Sunday.
“There was some drama after we (Glasgow and Risner) lost (Meinerz),” Fangio said. “Some good, some not so good, but just the way you expect it to be.”
The re-jiggering of the line comes at an inappropriate time. The Broncos rank seventh in the NFL with 127.3 rushing yards/game, but that aspect of the offense has yet to live up to the internal expectations held by co-numbers. 1 tailback Melvin Gordon and Jevont Williams. “Historically the Ravens have been very hard to run,” said Fangio, as Denver South grad Kallis Campbell anchored Baltimore’s defensive line.
“They have great defensive linemen, and they have good players,” Fangio said. “His plan is sometimes hard to drive, but we have to find a way to get a few yards out of there.”
Risner put on the boot during his charity event in Denver on Monday and watched Wednesday’s pre-practice stretch minus a boot, while Glasgow was not seen. During individual exercises, Muti and Meinerz took photographs on the right and left guards, respectively.