Austin Traylor is expected to compete with Jeff Heuerman, Jake Butt and Troy Fugamalli for playing time for the Broncos this season, but Traylor is considered a long-shot for the No. 1 job. Most likely, Traylor will be a reserve tight end and play on special teams. Keep an eye on what happens during training camp, but even if Traylor is the starter he should not be drafted in the majority of leagues.
Traylor (shoulder) did not participate in Monday's practice, Mike Klis of 9News.com reports. Traylor, who sustained a shoulder sprain during Saturday's preseason loss to the Vikings, was kept to the sideline Monday as he observed practice. The injury doesn't sound too severe, but he joins Jeff Heuerman (knee) and rookie Troy Fumagalli (sports hernia) as other Broncos tight ends dealing with health-related issues.
Traylor sustained a shoulder injury during Saturday's preseason opener against the Vikings, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports. It isn't clear when or how Traylor suffered the injury, nor is it certain how severe his situation is. Regardless, his potential absence from practice this week is yet another hit to a tight end corps already without Jeff Heuerman (knee) and Troy Fumagalli (sports hernia) for the time being, which allows Jake Butt to operate as the unquestioned No. 1 tight end until further notice.
The extent of Traylor's usage has been a surprise to start camp, Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan reports. This is a Broncos tight-end room with few established options. Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli have yet to play an NFL snap, while Jeff Heuerman, a 2015 third-round pick, has yet to live up to his draft position in three seasons. Traylor, undrafted out of Wisconsin, actually played more offensive snaps (179 to 139) than Heuerman during the final five weeks of the 2017 season. Don't be surprised if Traylor finds a way to make the team.
Traylor caught both of his targets for 16 total yards during Sunday's 35-9 loss in Miami. Traylor joined his first professional active roster three weeks ago and took the starting job. Traylor has led Denver tight ends in offensive snaps in each of the past three weeks and logged 53 on Sunday as compared to former starter Virgil Green's 21 and former third-round pick Jeff Heuerman's 14. It's hard to judge Traylor's abilities too much with the Broncos' never-ending disaster at quarterback, but the second-year player has showed promise late in the season.
Traylor snatched one of four targets for a gain of 34 yards during Sunday's 21-14 loss to Oakland. Traylor's lone reception set up Denver's first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter. Traylor has developed quickly in Denver's offense with a dearth of competition around him. The Wisconsin product, again, was tops among Denver tight ends with 33 offensive snaps and figures to see plenty of more as the team looks to see what it has in young talent moving forward.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/02||Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|5||10/07||@New York Jets||23||7.25|
|6||10/14||Los Angeles Rams||19||6.82|
|8||10/28||@Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|11||11/18||@Los Angeles Chargers||4||5.00|
|14||12/09||@San Francisco 49ers||18||6.75|
|17||12/30||Los Angeles Chargers||4||5.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||13||8||100||0||6||12.50||10|