A pair of Broncos rookies are headed to the injured reserve. The team announced today that they’ve placed tight end Jake Butt and quarterback Chad Kelly on the IR. The two players were previously on the NFI list, and after evaluating their progress, the coaching staff decided that the duo would be shut down for the season.
“They’re both going to go down,” said head coach Vance Joseph. “Chad Kelly, obviously, he came back and practiced last week, and obviously numbers-wise, it doesn’t make sense for our football team. We were hoping that Jake could come back and help us at this point, but he’s not ready yet. So we’re going to put both of those guys down.”
Butt, who was selected in the fifth round of this past year’s draft, has spent the majority of the campaign recovering from his second ACL surgery. The tight end had been practicing for the past few weeks, but he continued to feel soreness in the knee. After having earned a pair of first-team All-American nods, it was expected that Butt could eventually work his way into a major role. Instead, the Broncos will have to continue to rely on A.J. Derby, Virgil Green, and Jeff Heuerman at tight end.
“There’s definitely frustration,” Butt told Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post last week. “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.”
There had been less optimism that Kelly would be activated from the NFI. The seventh-round pick was recovering from both wrist and and knee surgeries, and while the trio of Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch have been uninspiring, there wasn’t room on the roster for a rookie quarterback. Kelly was limited to nine games during his senior season at Ole Miss, but he still managed to complete 62.5-percent of his passes for 2,758 yards, 19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
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