The Facts: When he suffered a noncontact left ACL injury in practice last Sept. 27, Butt was emerging as a reliable, multidimensional player. But when training camp starts July 18, Butt will find himself in an unfamiliar position. “I’m used to being a guy that the team can rely on, used to being at the top of the depth chart,” he said Saturday. “For me, I’m probably going to be starting off at the bottom and work my way up.”
Diehards Line: What the Broncos hope Butt can do is join healthy tight ends Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman as middle-of-the-field targets for Joe Flacco. Butt had eight catches for 85 yards in three games last year. Butt, who turns 24 next month, plans on being available when camp begins. “I haven’t had any setbacks, so that’s been great — it’s been a steady climb,” he said. “It’s obviously a long process, but I feel really close. At this point, it’s (about) getting back into football shape and to where I feel good every day.” Butt hasn’t talked about a practice snap-count ceiling with coach Vic Fangio or the training staff, but he expects to be managed. Butt tore his right ACL twice before joining the Broncos — in high school and in his final college game for Michigan (against Florida State in Orange Bowl). The second injury equaled a redshirt year as an NFL rookie in 2017. For his left ACL reconstruction, surgeons shaved part of his hamstring, tied it in a bundle and used it as the new ligament. Butt revealed Saturday his meniscus (cartilage) also was damaged. During the Broncos’ offseason practices that were open to the media, Butt did not participate in any team drills, but he was in every meeting and went over the practice script multiple times the night before each workout.