Englewood, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Denver Broncos guard Chris Kuper informed the team Monday that he intends to retire after eight NFL seasons.
A fifth-round pick of Denver in the 2006 draft, Kuper started 79 games during his tenure with the Broncos but has been sidetracked by injuries in recent years. The 31-year-old sustained a serious ankle fracture and dislocation in the 2011 regular-season finale, then was limited to just seven games the following campaign by a broken forearm.
Kuper played in just four games with one start as a reserve lineman on Denver's 2013 AFC Champion squad.
"This felt like the right time for me to leave this game on my terms," said Kuper in a statement posted on the Broncos' official site. "I'm going to miss hanging out in the locker room, and the offensive line meeting room, in particular. We shared a lot of laughs. I was fortunate to grow up in the game around a good group of veterans, especially Tom Nalen and Ben Hamilton, and became great friends with so many of the guys."
Kuper emerged as Denver's regular right guard in his second NFL season in 2007, then started all but two of the team's 64 regular-season contests over the next four years.
"'Kup' consistently demonstrated the type of leadership you look for in a team captain," Broncos head coach John Fox said. "He earned the respect of his teammates and coaches for his dedication to the game. I congratulate him on a great career, and I thank him for his many contributions to our team."