On the Something Something Broncos podcast above, Laurie, Jess and I briefly talked about the tight end position, but I felt like we needed to dig a bit deeper into it in a separate post. Because, frankly, the Denver Broncos just can’t seem to figure out the tight end situation. When we entered Broncos training camp a month ago, many of us thought they might have figured out a long-term plan there.
They re-signed fifth-year player Jeff Heuerman, drafted Noah Fant in the first round, and found an undrafted gem in Austin Fort. Throw in previous draft picks like Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli, and you felt like maybe things were getting back on track in Denver at the tight end position.
Then training camp began.
Almost immediately Butt found his knee flaring up again that first week of camp and was sat out of practice all the way until last week. Bug Howard, another tight end on the roster, has also missed much of camp with injury. Both of those players are now back to compete, but they might be too far behind to truly compete for extensive playing time in the regular season.
With them out, undrafted rookie Austin Fort had begun turning heads and made a lot of us wonder if he was going to breakout to earn a roster spot in 2019. Instead, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury against the Seattle Seahawks on a deep pass down the middle of the field. It was a tough break for the rookie and the Broncos.
That left rookie Fant, Jeff Heuerman, and Troy Fumagalli to take the reigns. You can see the talent there with Fant, but he might not be ready to become a full-time start as a rookie. Heuerman continues to look like the most reliable tight end on the roster.
If both Heuerman and Fant can stay healthy for all 16-games, maybe there isn’t anything to worry about just yet. The depth behind them does make this fan uneasy. With those two still healthy, I’ll give my panic rating on this position a healthy 6 out of 10. The sky isn’t falling, but I’m definitely looking up.
Are you worried about the tight end situation?
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