(CBS4) – Broncos offensive tackle Jared Veldheer suffered a knee injury and won’t return to Monday night’s tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team announced.
Veldheer was injured on a first-quarter play in which he allowed pressure on quarterback Case Keenum. He hobbled to the sideline and was examined by the medical staff before heading into an evaluation tent, and finally, the locker room.
Billy Turner replaced Veldheer at RT.
Veldheer was in his second game back after sustaining a concussion in Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders. He was cleared in time for last Sunday’s loss to Baltimore and looked no worse for wear.
“Kind of frustrated, I would say,” he said of returning from the head injury. “Granted, I was grateful to get back out there and play that game. But everyone had a bad taste in their mouth leaving that field. I felt like we left a lot out there.”
Losing Veldheer for more than just Monday night would be a big blow as he’s stabilized a position that’s long haunted Denver. Cross-trained as a backup tackle and guard, Turner entered in the second half against Oakland and held up reasonably well, as starting quarterback Case Keenum was sacked only once.
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“Yes, he would be the guy. I felt great about Billy. Nobody talked about him, so that’s a good sign,” Joseph said earlier this month. “We have great depth at the o-line position. I wasn’t surprised he played well. We’ve got Billy, we’ve got [G] Max [Garcia] dressing out. Those two guys play as starters, so I wasn’t concerned at all.”
A sixth-year veteran, Turner is in his third season with the Broncos. He’s appeared in six games over that span, working primarily as a swing lineman. Turner hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career this offseason, and after three days on the open market, the club re-signed him to a one-year contract.
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Prior to joining the Broncos, Turner started 14 games for the Miami Dolphins from 2015-16, experience that he’s drawing on. It’s also helped to block All-Everything linebacker Von Miller in practice day in and day out.
“To be honest, when you practice against the best pass rusher in the league, it tends to make things easier for when you do get thrown into the fire in the middle of the game,” Turner said, via The Denver Post.
Training aside, Turner is a downgrade from Veldheer and will be targeted by an aggressive Kansas City defense, which has knocked around Keenum in the first half.