The Denver Broncos have fortunately not had to cut many players from their active roster this season, but as decision time nears today on center J.D. Walton, they may need to part with one of their own.
The NFL deadline for activating players from the physically unable to perform list is a bit confusing, but basically a team has three weeks (post their sixth game of the season) from which they have a window to practice a player who has been on the PUP and make a decision on whether to activate him or shut him down. This season November 12th is the date that players must begin practicing, but Walton started practicing October 22nd. That makes today the decision day for the Broncos.
Not much is known about Walton's progress, mainly because the media has backed off of Denver's perceived weakness at offensive line from the beginning of the season. The Broncos offensive line has been able to sustain the loss of All Pro Ryan Clady and a missed game by Orlando Franklin.
Peyton Manning has been sacked 11 times in 2013, that is the second least in the NFL this season. FootballOutsiders.com ranked Denver's offensive line as first in pass blocking and sixth in run blocking at the midway point of the season.
So the possible return of Walton is troubling in two ways, one the Broncos don't seem to have an overwhelming need for him (what would the team do with Manny Ramirez?) and two the team would need to cut a current member of their 53 man roster.
Most concerning for Walton has to be that he is in the final season of his contract, so personally he'll likely want to play this season. Playing this season could risk further injury, Walton has played in four games since 2011. However, as fans of the Broncos have seen this year-- literally anything can happen.
UPDATE (11/5 1:02 MST):
The Denver Post's Mike Klis has tweeted that guard John Moffitt did not show up to the facility today and that he is frustrated about playing time:
Broncos' G John Moffitt is doing some soul searching. Didn't show up after bye. Frustrated with lack of playing time.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) November 5, 2013