Broncos offensive tackles Ja’Wuan James tore his Achilles on Tuesday while working out at an off-site location, and is expected to miss the upcoming season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The veteran’s salary for this upcoming season, which was expected to be $10 million, is now in jeopardy since Denver is not obligated to pay him due to the injury not occurring at a team facility.
James had been working out at the Broncos’ facility this offseason until the NFLPA urged players to boycott on-site work due to COVID-19 concerns. Denver’s players announced in early April that they wouldn’t be participating in the team’s voluntary offseason workouts.
“With offseason programs starting in less than a week and without adequate protocols in place in order for us players to return safely, we will be exercising our right to not participate in voluntary offseason workouts,” Denver’s players said in a statement by the NFL Players Association. “COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our families and to our communities, and it makes no sense to us as players to put ourselves at risk during this dead period.
“Positivity rates in our city are higher than they were at this time last year and we know players have been infected at club facilities in recent weeks.”
James’s time with the Broncos began in 2019 with a four-year, $51 million deal; however, his impact has been limited due to health-related hurdles. He’s only played three games in his first season with the franchise, and he then opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Last season, Denver replaced James with veterans Demar Dotson and Elijah Wilkinson. Both are no longer on the roster, and the franchise did not add any offensive tackle depth during the 2021 NFL draft last week.
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