As their starting center, Dan Koppen, was lost to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday, the Denver Broncos are scrambling to find a solid replacement to snap the ball to Peyton Manning this season. The Broncos have already signed veteran center Steve Vallos on Monday, but the Broncos may be looking for a proven center that can protect Manning as he drops back in the pocket. Reported today, the Broncos are apparently looking to lure Ryan Lilja, a former teammate of Manning and Super Bowl winner with the 2006 Colts, out of retirement and to compete for the starting job.
31-year-old Lilja retired from professional football at the end of the 2012 season. He has played in 111 games for the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs. He played right guard for the Colts for six years alongside Peyton Manning, winning one of their two Super Bowl appearances. For the last three seasons, Lilja played center for Chiefs until he retired after their abysmal 2-14 finish.
According to multiple sources, the Broncos have made a contract offer in hopes to drag him out of retirement, but are not pressuring Lilja to make a hasty decision. Other teams have inquired about Lilja’s services, including the Kansas City Chiefs, but the potential to win another Super Bowl may be the missing factor to successfully lure him out of retirement.