Joe Don Duncan's playing days are not over.
The former college coach and tight end turned fullback that spent training camp with the Broncos ultimately did not make the team. No undrafted players made Denver's roster this year, ending the team's eleven-year streak.
"I know my work there was appreciated, and I know [I’m] still in the back of their minds, so hopefully I end up there by the end of the year somehow, but we’ll see how it goes," Duncan said.
After being cut by the Broncos, he worked out for the Patriots, but did not sign. He said his agent has been in contact with six teams since then. While he waits for another NFL opportunity, Duncan is now playing with the Brooklyn Bolts.
"I figured I was at home working out doing football stuff and instead of me sitting around and waiting for a call, I mine as well come out here and stay in football shape," Duncan said. "[I will] get some good film, send it out to teams, just to show that I’m not just sitting here waiting expecting a call, I’m working for it. I think I need another opportunity—I want another opportunity—that’s what I’m trying to prove."
The Bolts are part of the FXFL, a league that hopes to become the NFL's D-League. The Bolts are led by quarterback Josh Freeman, a former first round pick by the Buccaneers in 2009. Brooklyn's preliminary roster included just two players without some kind of NFL experience.
Duncan could have returned to coaching, but said he wants to play football as long as he can.
"I will probably end up being a coach somewhere down the road, but the window that you have to play is so small, [so] I feel that I have to take advantage of every opportunity I can while I can play. So while I’m healthy and I can play I want to take advantage of every play and go out there and show that I have the ability to play."
Duncan's role with Brooklyn will be similar to went he practiced with the Broncos this summer, a fullback/tight end hybrid.
"Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll end up on a[n NFL] team—practice squad, whatever it is—I’m a very optimistic guy. I want to show that I can help a team win. I play multiple positions—I can snap, fullback, tight end, special teams, whatever you need—whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it. I’m that type of guy.
"Who knows what’s going to happen, but I hope by the end of the year, I’ll be on somebody’s roster."
Brooklyn's first game will be played tonight (Friday) against the Florida Blacktips. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and tickets start at $15.
The game will be streamed on ESPN3 on the WatchESPN app.