ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos were evaluating right tackle Orlando Franklin for both left knee and left ankle injuries Monday morning.
Initial exams revealed Franklin has both a sprained ankle as well as a possible MCL sprain in his knee. However, he was slated for an MRI exam and other tests Monday to check for any additional damage. Severe MCL sprains can often keep players sidelined for as many as six weeks.
Following Sunday’s win, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said “we have our fingers crossed on Orlando.’’
Franklin suffered the injuries with 12:16 to play in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno. Franklin was briefly examined on the Broncos' bench by team doctors and then taken to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Franklin left the stadium Sunday evening using crutches.
Franklin has started every game since he was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft -- 41 consecutive games including three career postseason games. In his absence, and with tackle Winston Justice having been a game-day inactive, the Broncos moved right guard Louis Vasquez to Franklin’s right tackle spot and put Chris Kuper in at right guard to finish out the game against the Jaguars.
It is believed to have been the first time Vasquez played tackle in either an NFL or college game. Given Justice’s experience -- a former starter at right tackle for both the Eagles and Colts -- the Broncos would likely give him a long look to fill in for Franklin.