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Ryan Lilja contacted by lineman-needy Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos' search for a starting center is starting to feel like a rejected "Final Destination" screenplay.

Two starting options -- J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen -- have seen their seasons wiped away by injury before we've reached August. Now a twist in the script: The Broncos are eyeing a player whose career is technically over.

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The Broncos have reached out to guard/center Ryan Lilja about coming out of retirement, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. Citing a person who spoke to Lilja on Tuesday, Rapoport said the player is in "think-it-over mode" and should decide in a few days.

Lilja was Peyton Manning's teammate with the Indianapolis Colts from 2004 to 2009. Lilja, who turns 32 in October, is familiar with Manning's line calls, a huge plus for a Broncos team searching for stability at the position.

The Broncos' courting of Lilja was first reported by FoxSports.com.

Lilja hardly is a perfect fit. He played guard, not center, during his time with Manning and the Colts. There also are physical question marks; Lilja underwent surgery on his toe and knee after starting 15 games for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. Still, Lilja might be a better option than Manny Ramirez, the guard who is currently acting as Denver's center.

Lilja had been in talks to come out of retirement and return to the Chiefs this spring. A phone call from his old buddy Peyton might get him over the hump.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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