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Horse Tracks: Who will replace Vance Walker?

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The Denver Broncos lost underrated defensive lineman Vance Walker for the season with an ACL injury. Who will step up and fill his void?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country.

Vance Walker wasn't a household name in across the NFL, but he was an integral part of the Denver Broncos football team last season. The impact of his loss will be felt and many fans are wondering who will step up and replace his production on the gridiron in 2016.  Head Coach Gary Kubiak talked about Walker's injury at training camp yesterday and offered his insight on the situation.

"It’s tough because Vance was becoming a really good player. He had a great offseason, a great camp. It was an opportunity for him in his career to be a starter. Unfortunately, that happens. It’s part of the game," stated Kubiak.

The Broncos aren't strangers to misfortune in the trenches.  Last year, a handful of players including former left tackle Ryan Clady were lost prior to the start of the season on the offensive front.  It wasn't easy to overcome, but at the end of the day, the Broncos did enough to battle it out through the year and earn the franchises' third Super Bowl.

Kubiak has confidence the team can overcome the adversity and mentioned several players on the roster who have the ability to come in and step up their game to replace Walker's production.

"I expect a lot of [DE Adam] Gotsis and [NT Darius] Kilgo; [DT Kyle] Peko has come a long way. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up—[DE Jared] Crick. It’s part of football and we have to make it work," said Kubiak who later went on to add that he is not overly concerned about the depth the Broncos have at defensive line.

"I’m not concerned about the depth on the line now. I think the thing always is—as a coach you sit here and say ‘OK, we still have three weeks of training camp left.’ That’s the hard part. You are always massaging positions and situations to get yourself to opening day. It’s no different."

However, if things don't go as planned with other players stepping up and the Broncos don't feel good about where they are on the defensive line, there is always free agency to look to in order to add a player.

Furthermore, there is always the possibility of a trade with another team that could net the Broncos a player as well. If that route is to be taken, it should be sooner than later in order to allow any player who is acquired to get immersed and familiarized with the teams' defensive playbook and scheme.

But for now, Kubiak seems content with the hand he has been dealt and the 'next man up' philosophy the Broncos have adhered to in the past is showing once again.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.

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