DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos have announced that veteran left tackle Ryan Clady is likely out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during OTA practices on Wednesday.

Clady protects Peyton Manning‘s blind side.

“My heart goes out to Ryan because I know how much work he’s put in to being a professional athlete. We have a great relationship. Trust me, I’m far from matter of fact. I feel bad for him but there’s very little we can do about that other than support him,” said Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison.

“I’m just devastated for him. I feel bad for Ryan. He’s worked really hard, he’s a great kid and we’re counting on him but that’s the challenges in this business and you’ve got to work through them, we’ve got to help Ryan work through them. Players got to work through it, coaches got to work through it, and somebody else has to step up,” said Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak.

Offensive tackle Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos lines up against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Oct. 5, 2014. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Offensive tackle Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos lines up against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Oct. 5, 2014. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The knee injury is a big blow for an offensive line that already had questions this offseason.

The Broncos lost lineman Orlando Franklin in free agency. Franklin signed with the San Diego Chargers.

The team also traded offensive lineman Manny Ramirez to the Detroit Lions in a deal that allowed them to move up in the first round of the draft and pick Shane Ray.

This is the second major injury the Broncos have experienced on their roster in this offseason. During rookie minicamp their third round draft pick tight end Jeff Heuerman also tore an ACL.

Ryan Clady blocks in the Broncos loss to the Ravens in the playoffs in January 2013. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Ryan Clady blocks in the Broncos loss to the Ravens in the playoffs in January 2013. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Clady missed most of the 2013 season with a foot injury but started in every game last season. During Clady’s absence tackle Chris Clark filled in for Manning and performed admirably.

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