The Facts: Butt is healthy after missing all of 2019 with left knee surgery, his fourth major knee injury since 2014. He was cleared late last season and has stayed that way. “My knee’s good,” he said. “Doing everything running and lifting. This offseason has been a little bit weird for everybody, having to bounce around and train anywhere you can, but I’ve still been getting good work in, feel good about things and excited about playing ball again.”
Diehards Line: When the Broncos open the season Sept. 14 against Tennessee, Butt will have played only three meaningful games in the previous 1,351 days. Playing for Michigan, Butt tore his right ACL in a spring 2014 practice and again in his final college game, the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 2017. The Broncos drafted Butt in the fifth round (No. 145 overall) and he used his rookie year to rehabilitate. In 2018, he was sailing along during camp and the first three games, playing 97 snaps and catching eight passes for 85 yards. Week by week, it was expected his role would expand. But he sustained a torn left ACL in a mid-October practice. Another season over. Last year, Butt was managed during the offseason program and missed three weeks of camp (July 21-Aug. 11). He played 11 snaps in the Aug. 24 preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and felt he had turned a corner. Soon after, though, on the team plane back to Denver, he experienced knee soreness and was shut down. Butt had surgery to take out 30-40% of his meniscus. The Broncos had the option of returning him from injured reserve, but opted to keep him sidelined. Although the Broncos have stood by him, Butt faces a difficult task. The Broncos signed Nick Vannett and drafted Albert Okwuegbunam, and Butt, Fort, Noah Fant, Jeff Heuerman, Andrew Beck and Troy Fumagalli all return.