The Denver Broncos relied mostly on their running game to win the AFC West despite the amount of attention given to Tim Tebow at quarterback. That said, they’re going to miss one of their key offensive linemen for what looks like the rest of the postseason, even if they were to move on past the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.
In yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos lost Chris Kuper to a horrific injury that will keep him rehabbing all offseason long. The injury devastated Broncos’ players.
“Kuper is out the rest of the playoffs and will most likely need the entire offseason to rehabilitate the injury,” writes the staff from the Denver Post. “He has started on the Broncos’ offensive line since the sixth game of the 2007 season. Offensive line teammates were planning to visit Kuper on Sunday night after leaving the stadium.”
The Post also got several quotes from players weighing in on the loss. While Kuper is not as celebrated as Ryan Clady, the team’s left tackle, it’s clear that he’s just as valuable to those on the team.
“It stinks. He’s a leader, and he had never been in the playoffs before tonight, and I know what it meant to him. The whole offensive line does,” said Russ Hochstein, who replaced Kuper at right guard.
The Broncos running game will also suffer with Kuper’s loss. Willis McGahee, who had 145 rushing yards against the Chiefs, agrees.
“Kupe is a big part of the offensive line, and those guys really played for him,” running back Willis McGahee said. “That was the talk — let’s do this for Kupe.”