Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt will sit out this week and perhaps much longer after his surgically repaired left knee didn’t respond well following Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Butt played 11 snaps, catching two passes for 17 yards, on Saturday in his first game action since tearing his ACL during a practice last September. It was Butt’s third torn ACL dating back to college, after he tore his right ACL twice while at Michigan.
“When he starts to feel good and plays or practices, then it flares back up again,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters Tuesday of Butt’s left knee. “It’s just something we’re going to have to deal with here. He won’t play in (Thursday’s preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals), and he may miss some time.”
Asked if that meant Butt would sit out a few games on the 53-man roster or go on injured reserve, Fangio replied, “Both options are open there. We’ll see how it all shakes up.”
Butt, 24, missed all of his rookie season in 2017 after tearing his ACL in his final college game. He returned to play in three games last season, catching eight passes for 85 yards, before tearing his ACL in practice leading up to Week 4.
If Butt were placed on IR before the cutdown to the 53-man roster, he would miss the full 2019 season. If he went on IR after the cutdown, he could be eligible to return after eight weeks.
The Broncos drafted tight end Noah Fant 20th overall in April, and he is close to full health after a minor ankle sprain Monday against the San Francisco 49ers. Veteran Jeff Heuerman and second-year man Troy Fumagalli have each missed brief time in training camp with injuries, while promising undrafted rookie Austin Fort (ACL) and converted wideout Bug Howard (hand) are already on injured reserve.