ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos will be without several starters on their offensive and defensive lines when they visit Arrowhead Stadium this weekend in search of their first victory over the Kansas City Chiefs since 2015.
Austin Schlotmann will make his second straight start at right guard with Ronald Leary still in concussion protocol, and Elijah Wilkinson will start at right tackle with Ja’Wuan James (knee) missing his 11th game of the season.
Coach Vic Fangio also ruled out defensive ends Adam Gotsis (knee) and DeMarcus Walker (ankle) and said Dre’Mont Jones (ankle) is questionable.
Fangio said rookie defensive end Jonathan Harris will be activated Sunday as a result “and we may need to find another guy. It will either be (rookie Deyon) Sizer off practice squad or potentially signing somebody else that’s out there.”
James didn’t practice this week after playing the first half at Houston on Sunday in his first action in two months.
James has been limited to 63 snaps in his first season in Denver after the Broncos made him the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL with a four-year, $51 million deal in free agency with $32 million guaranteed.
James has played in just three games and hasn’t finished any of them. He played well in the first half last week against the Texans when the Broncos (5-8) jumped out to a 28-point halftime lead on their way to a 38-24 victory. As planned, James was replaced by Wilkinson for the second half as the Broncos sought to ease James back into the mix.
Von Miller, who returned to the lineup last week after his 95-game starting streak came to an end two weeks ago because of a sprained left knee, said it was “way better than it was last week. I shouldn’t have any problems playing.”
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