Why Julius Thomas Will Be Denver Broncos' Breakout Star in 2013
It was confirmed by Lindsay Jones of USA Today several days ago that tight end Joel Dreessen will miss the rest of training camp after suffering a setback in his recovery from a June arthroscopic knee surgery.
The Denver Broncos have had their share of serious injuries thus far during the offseason. Tight end Jacob Tamme has also missed the majority of training camp due to a quadriceps injury.
Both Tamme and Dreessen saw the majority of playing time at tight end for the Broncos in 2012. Although the Broncos kept four tight ends on their roster last year—including Julius Thomas and Virgil Green—Tamme started eight games, while Dreessen started 15.
The Broncos like Dreessen's ability to catch the ball and block. He played over 75 percent of the Broncos' offensive snaps last season.
However, as Lindsay Jones points out in her report of Dreessen's injury, this opens the door for tight end Julius Thomas, who has had an outstanding training camp:
With Dreessen and Tamme out for the time being, Julius Thomas has a chance to solidify not just his place on the roster, but also make a case for significant playing time come September. Thomas, a fourth-round pick in 2011, played sparingly his first two seasons after suffering a severe high ankle sprain early in his rookie year. He had surgery on the ankle in April 2012.
Of all of Denver's standouts through OTAs and training camp, Thomas has arguably been the most impressive.
From Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press, via Fox News:
Julius Thomas is dropping jaws, eluding linebackers, overpowering safeties and even holding his own when blocking All-Pro linebacker Von Miller.
In one spectacular but increasingly typical half hour, he overpowered safety Rahim Moore for a touchdown that no DB in the league could have denied, somehow reached into the crowd and hauled in a pass on the sideline that safety David Bruton had batted away and then kept Miller from getting anywhere near Peyton Manning.
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