The Denver Broncos suffered their biggest loss of the young season Wednesday.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that injured starting left tackle Ryan Clady is going on season-ending injured reserve, according to a source who spoke with Clady. The Broncos later confirmed the move and added that Clady's injury required surgery.
Rapoport previously reported that Clady's friends feared he might be out for the season.
That fear was realized Wednesday.
The loss of the two-time All-Pro is huge for Peyton Manning and Co. Clady had never missed a game since being chosen in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He provided Manning with the comfort of knowing the quarterback's blind side would be protected without additional aid.
In the offseason, Clady signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract, with $33 million guaranteed.
Manning's blind side now will be shielded by fourth-year pro Chris Clark, who has started all of six NFL games. The Broncos also signed veteran tackle Winston Justice to a one-year contract, Rapoport reported earlier Wednesday.