ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) – When it comes to the tight end group with the Broncos, it starts with Noah Fant. The former Iowa Hawkeye only has two years of NFL experience under his belt, but he’s the leader of this group. In 2019, Fant ended the season with 40 receptions for 562 yards and zero touchdowns.
This offseason, the Broncos added a little veteran flavor with Nick Vannett who caught 17 passes for 166 yards playing for both the Steelers and Seahawks in 2019. From that point, there is rookie Albert Okwuegbunam who has shown flashes of positivity.
However, there is probably no one in that tight end room as special as Jake Butt. The Michigan product has torn his ACL three different times as he enters his fourth year in the NFL, but it hasn’t broken his spirit.
“There were a lot of days I wanted to quit. There were a lot of days I was really down on myself, questioning myself. Questioning, ‘Why am I even doing this kind of thing?’ For me, it was my support group, my teammates, my friends, and maybe just a little bit of craziness I have had instilled in me from my family growing up,” Butt said.
Butt has only played in three NFL games since he began his professional career, but despite that, he doesn’t look back, only ahead.
“I think that is a lesson learned through this and that everyone can learn is that bad days are going to come, tough days are going to come, but you can’t quit. You have to keep showing up. (Broncos conditioning coach Loren) Landow says, ‘Chop wood and carry water.’ It’s a book he gave to us and it’s been my mindset through this where it’s the little things you have to keep doing,” said Butt.
Whether it’s that book or the people in his corner, Jake Butt has gotten through it and now he’s feeling 100%.
“I am feeling pretty good right now, feeling solid, and you guys see me out there running around without a knee brace, so I feel good,” he said.
Without the preseason, Jake Butt and a lot of other guys will have to continue proving themselves on the practice field. The team did announce they will practice at Mile High Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 29, to go through game-day procedures.