The Broncos are zeroed in on Sunday, but when they return from Philadelphia coach Vance Joseph and his staff will have a pair of decisions to make. And these won’t be about their quarterbacks. Denver has until Monday to activate rookie tight end Jake Butt and quarterback Chad Kelly, or leave them on the non-football injury list for the remainder of the season. Joseph already indicated that Kelly, who is coming off knee and wrist surgeries, would remain on NFI; the Broncos can’t keep four quarterbacks on the roster. However, Joseph had been hopeful Butt would be a contributor after more than nine months of recovery from his second anterior cruciate ligament surgery on his right knee. Though he returned to practice in mid-October, Butt has experienced soreness in his first couple of weeks on the field, and Joseph’s once-optimistic tone has lately been one of uncertainty. He said Thursday that Butt “is still working through” and “getting into football shape” and that the team is “figuring it out.” “It’s a process. Like V.J. said, I’ve just been dealing with a little bit of soreness,” Butt told The Denver Post on Friday. “It’s a tough thing. I feel like I’ve been away from football for a long time, so as much as I think I can be Superman and just walk in and play, that’s just not the reality. The big thing — and what I appreciate from everyone around here — is that my health is a priority and everyone is making sure that if I’m sore we’re not putting me out there where I’m going to be at risk. “There’s definitely frustration. For me, I’ve been a quick healer my whole life and everything I’ve come back (from), I’ve been able to come back with no problems. But it’s also teaching me some things. Patience is a big thing.” A Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end, Butt first tore his ACL, as well as his meniscus, during a winter practice at Michigan in 2014. At the time he was told that he would likely be facing a redshirt season, but he was back on the field six-and-a-half months after surgery.
Broncos rookie TE Jake Butt still dealing with soreness in knee
Denver Post | Nov 5