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Ryan Lilja | Center | #57

Team: Unsigned Free Agent
Age / DOB:  (36) / 10/15/1981
Ht / Wt:  6'2" / 290
College: Kansas State
Contract: view contract details
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Broncos released C Ryan Lilja.
The Broncos lured Lilja out of retirement only to release him after 31 days. Recovering from microfracture surgery, the 31-year-old center must not have looked ready in camp. It's unclear if Lilja will continue his "comeback," or retire for good. Manny Ramirez is the Broncos' Week 1 center. Sat, Aug 31, 2013 03:22:00 PM

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on NFL Insiders Broncos C Ryan Lilja underwent microfracture knee surgery in the offseason.

Per Schefter, the Broncos "didn't realize" Lilja had the major surgery until they approached him about replacing Dan Koppen. Lilja is going on 32, an age at which any major knee repair would be especially concerning. Lilja is practicing fully in camp, however, and remains on track to be Denver's Week 1 center.
Wed, Aug 7, 2013 03:47:00 PM

Broncos signed G/C Ryan Lilja to a one-year contract.

Lilja's "retirement" was about as sincere as Jay Z's last decade. It's a nice signing for the Broncos, who were staring at replacement-level Manny Ramirez at center. It's not a guaranteed coup, however. Going on 32, Lilja underwent toe and knee surgeries this offseason, making his health a fairly big question mark. Regardless, the Broncos are in a much better spot at center than they were 24 hours ago. Lilja was Pro Football Focus' No. 14 center last season.
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 07:18:00 PM

Sources tell the Denver Post that the Broncos have offered a contract to "retired" G/C Ryan Lilja.

Lilja and Peyton Manning spent six years together in Indy. Now the Broncos want him to come in and compete with Manny Ramirez for the starting center job vacated by injuries to Dan Koppen and J.D. Walton. If healthy, Lilja would be the favorite to win out.
Source: Denver Post
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 12:34:00 PM

FOX Sports reports the Broncos have reached out to "retired" G/C Ryan Lilja about a comeback.

"Retired" because Lilja had already discussed a "comeback" with the Chiefs. Talks were put on hold in May as Lilja rehabbed from toe and knee surgeries. It's unclear if the Chiefs remain an option for the 32-year-old veteran. Provided he's healthy, Lilja would be a safer bet at center in Denver than Manny Ramirez. Lilja was teammates with Peyton Manning from 2004-09, but played primarily guard in Indy.
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 09:44:00 PM

The Kansas City Star reports retired G/C Ryan Lilja's potential comeback is "on hold" as he rehabs from toe and knee surgeries.

Per reporter Adam Teicher, the Chiefs may also "now feel they have enough capable bodies along their line." Lilja is reportedly "receptive" to a comeback, but the issue may simmer until training camp.
Mon, May 20, 2013 11:46:00 AM

Retired free agent G/C Ryan Lilja is rehabbing from toe and knee surgeries, but he could join a team for the start of training camp.

Lilja, 31, announced that he was retiring the day after the season ended, but there have been reports that he has been "receptive to the idea" of coming back. The Chiefs have already approached him about a return, and the fact that he followed through with the surgeries indicates he could lace 'em back up.
Thu, Apr 18, 2013 07:44:00 PM

The Kansas City Star reports the Chiefs have approached retired G/C Ryan Lilja about returning, and that Lilja is "receptive to the idea."

The veteran guard shifted to center last season, but said he was ready to walk away in December. "Physically, you hit a wall and your body kind of tells you to start thinking about it," Lilja said. "I wanted to be in a place where I was at peace with my decision and could move forward and never regret it. I’m there." Lilja was planning to undergo toe and knee surgeries. He'd be an option at center or left guard. LG Jeff Allen struggled mightily in 2012.
Tue, Apr 9, 2013 03:42:00 PM

Chiefs G/C Ryan Lilja announced Monday that he's retiring from the NFL.

The former Colt just wrapped up his ninth year in the NFL, and third with the Chiefs. Aside from missing all of 2008 with a knee injury, Lilja had missed just three games since 2006. That, coupled with the fact that he played at a high level for a moribund team this season makes his decision mildly surprising. However, he'll turn 32 in October, and is clearly interested in getting out of the league while he's still ahead. Lilja was headed toward free agency, so the Chiefs may have had a hole to fill on their interior line regardless.
Mon, Dec 31, 2012 02:11:00 PM

Chiefs declared C Ryan Lilja (knee) inactive for Sunday's Week 11 game against the Bengals.

The Chiefs will be without starting RG Jon Asamoah thumb as well. Expect Russ Hochstein to start at center, Eric Winston to move to right guard and Donald Stephenson to come on at right tackle. It's a concern for starting QB Matt Cassel and the entire offense. They'll also be without WR Jon Baldwin (head). The rest of the Chiefs' inactives: QB Ricky Stanzi, DB Tysyn Hartman, RB Cyrus Gray and NT Jerrell Powe.
Sun, Nov 18, 2012 11:52:00 AM

Chiefs added C Ryan Lilja (sore neck) to the Week 10 injury report and listed him as questionable.

Lilja has started all eight games this season. He entered the season as the starting left guard, but once Rodney Hudson went on injured reserve after Week 3, Lilja was moved to center. For all of the issues Kansas City has dealt with this season, the offensive line is a strong point. The Chiefs and Steelers play on Monday night.
Sat, Nov 10, 2012 02:06:00 PM

Chiefs LG Ryan Lilja left Monday's game with a head/neck injury sustained after a Tyler Palko interception.

Lilja was absolutely crushed by DL Kyle Love. The injury is almost certainly a concussion, meaning he'll be subject to the league's testing policy. Second round pick Rodney Hudson replaced Lilja, and despite his pedigree he'll be playing out of position if pressed into action. The Chiefs drafted Hudson to play center.
Tue, Nov 22, 2011 03:17:00 AM

The Chiefs have moved Ryan Lilja to left guard, flipping him with new right guard Jon Asamoah.

NFL teams like to have better pass blockers on the left side, or "blind side," of right-handed quarterbacks like Matt Cassel. Lilja moves better than Asamoah and was a left guard in Indianapolis. Even without Brian Waters, the Chiefs' line has a pretty good look to it. Asamoah projects as a stud run blocker.
Fri, Jul 29, 2011 11:29:00 PM

Chiefs RG Ryan Lilja has resumed practicing in full after missing Week 8 with a hand injury.

Lilja has been one of the top all-around guards in the league this season, and a steal for the $7.5 million over three years the Chiefs paid him last March. His return is good news for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.
Wed, Nov 3, 2010 05:25:00 PM

Chiefs RG Ryan Lilja indicated that he has not been limited by knee or back injuries in offseason conditioning.

The Colts leaked Lilja's failed physical this offseason, leaving many teams to believe that he was "damaged goods." Lilja played every game last season, however, so the health risk isn't as great as initially believed.
Fri, Apr 16, 2010 10:35:00 AM

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