Another knee injury ended the season for Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt just as it was beginning.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Butt suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a walk-through practice on Thursday that will prematurely end his season with 13 games remaining.
“I made a cut and I knew it right away,” Butt said, according to Mike Klis of 9News. “But I feel lucky. I have so many wonderful people around me for support. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and tell me they’re praying for me and thinking of me. I’m so blessed.”
Butt is no stranger to injury, having torn the ACL in his right knee twice while at Michigan — first in the spring of 2014 and second in his final game for Michigan in the 2016 Orange Bowl.
The second-year pro sat out all of last season with the Broncos while recuperating from the second knee injury.
The latest injury is to his left knee, which had not been previously impacted, and it happened during a non-contact part of practice. After Butt was examined at the training complex, he was taken for an MRI that confirmed the diagnosis.
“Jake has worked his tail off to recover from his previous injuries, and we feel terrible for him,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said. “He’s a great kid who’s developed into a very good football player. We have no doubt Jake will come back stronger than ever.”
Butt caught eight passes for 85 yards in three games. His average playing time was more than 30 snaps per game.
“This is probably the best I’ve felt in my career getting a whole year under my belt with professional strength coaches,” Butt said earlier this season before the injury.
Backup tight ends Jeff Heuerman and Matt LaCosse likely will see more time on the field with Butt lost for the year. Brian Parker also might be summoned from the practice squad.