|Ryan Clady suffered a foot injury early in the year and missed Denver's run to the Super Bowl.|
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I watched Clady watch a game once -- how meta is that? -- in Week 16 in +Houston. He'd traveled with the Broncos to Texas, and he was seated in the press box, squashed between writers, too big for his chair, his legs pressed beneath the desk in front of him. He cheered, too, breaking the cardinal rule of press boxes, but he's Ryan Clady, after all.
He cheered, and he flinched. At first, it seemed as if he flinched for Peyton Manning and cheered for his throws. But no, Clady flinched before the throw, cheered at the release. He watched his offensive line, watched his replacement and the block, block, block that preceded each throw, and if he followed the same routine in New Jersey in February, watching his Broncos vs. the +Seattle Seahawks, well, it had to have been excruciating.
"We've got Ryan Clady back," Broncos coach John Fox said at the NFL's annual meetings in March. "That makes us better instantly."
"It's almost like Ryan Clady was a free-agent acquisition," Manning echoed last week before a speaking engagement.
It's almost like he was a free-agent acquisition ... and if the former first round pick from +Boise State University were, he'd have been the Broncos' best.