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Ryan Clady's Lisfranc sprain has Broncos fearing worst

The Denver Broncos are just the seventh team of the Super Bowl era to score 40 points in each of their first two games in a season. Their 66 points in the second halves alone are as many as any other NFL team has scored through two complete games this season.

If Peyton Manning & Co. are going to chase the 2007 New England Patriots' record of 589 points, they'll have to overcome the loss of their best offensive lineman.

A person who has spoken with offensive tackle Ryan Clady told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday that the two-time All-Pro has been diagnosed with a Lisfranc sprain that might sideline him for an extended period of time.

The exact timetable is murky because Clady is seeking further opinions on the extent of the injury. In a worst-case scenario, the Broncos fear Clady's season could be over, according to Rapoport.

The Denver Post first reported the injury.

Clady has never missed a game since the Broncos selected him in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. The team was confident enough in his backup, Chris Clark, to sign Clark to a two-year contract extension Monday.

Although Clady is one of the finest tackles in the league, there is perhaps no quarterback better equipped to lose his blind-side protector than Manning. The likely future Hall of Famer is rarely sacked because he makes so many savvy pre-snap adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

With attractive matchups at home versus the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles the next two weeks, Manning should have little problem directing his high-flying aerial attack.

If Clady is lost for the season, however, his absence will be felt against defenses that feature dominant pass rushers -- such as the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs.

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