ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Ryan Lilja will step out of retirement to reunite with Peyton Manning.
The veteran offensive lineman agreed to terms Wednesday with the Denver Broncos, who are desperate for a starting center following a season ending knee injury to Dan Koppen.
Lilja, who turns 32 in October, has quite a bit of familiarity with Manning after playing guard for five seasons in Indianapolis.
And while Jeff Saturday was Manning's customary center with the Colts, he's now working as an ESPN analyst.
The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Lilja made a similar switch last season as he went from guard to center for Kansas City. After the season, he announced his intention to retire.
But his retirement didn't last all that long.
Koppen tore his left ACL in a drill last weekend after the Broncos brought him back last month to fill in for J.D. Walton, who's had a setback in his return from ankle surgery.
Manny Ramirez, who took most of the snaps at center during Denver's offseason practices, was working with Manning the last few days in training camp. He sent a few hikes high, but nothing out of Manning's reach.
The team also recently brought in Steve Vallos, a six-year veteran who has played in Seattle, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Jacksonville.