Jake Butt sat at his locker, still sweating and flushed from his morning workout. It was a Wednesday afternoon in mid-October — an ordinary Wednesday afternoon that his teammates had seen come and go for three months. But for the Broncos’ rookie tight end, it was the day and the moment he had dreamt about for years, one he only hoped would come after he suffered a torn ACL — his second torn ACL — in his final game as a Michigan Wolverine. “It was just football for real,” he said with a wide grin. “It’s pretty cool, you have a moment and I’m like, ‘Alright this is sweet.’” Jake Butt is finally nearing the end of his long wait and is on the verge of suiting up on an NFL game day. That day might be Nov. 5, against the Eagles in Philadelphia. That day can’t come soon enough for the Broncos. Denver’s offense has reeled the past two weeks, with “embarrassing” losses to the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Chargers that dropped them to a 3-3 record and on a chase to find answers and find them fast. The Broncos’ run game has stalled. Their once-balanced offense has become skewed. They were shutout for the first time in nearly 25 years last Sunday, their protection has been spotty, they’ve found themselves in way too many third-and-longs, their turnovers have been killers and the red zone? Well, they haven’t quite figured that out, either. (The Broncos rank 28th with a 42.9 red-zone conversion percentage.) Their No. 2 receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, is still recovering from an ankle injury and for more than two years now, they’ve lacked a true No. 3 pass-catcher who can be a reliable threat when Demaryius Thomas and Sanders are doubled in coverage, as they so often are.
Jake Butt is inching closer to playing. Could he be the spark the Broncos sorely need?
Denver Post | Oct 28