Denver’s Tony Scheffler is one of the up-and-coming tight ends in the NFL, coming off a season where he caught 49 passes for 549 yard and five touchdowns. Thus his absence would be a blow to the Broncos’ offense, but Scheffler says he will be ready for training camp despite not participating in any offseason work since May 19 with a recurring foot problem.
It was at that quarterback camp that Scheffler broke his left foot, which wouldn’t seem to be a big deal except that it’s the same foot he broke in May 2007 and had a problem with last season. But the former Western Michigan Bronco says he will be at training camp and healthy in late July.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Scheffler said. “I missed training camp last year and it was obvious to me that I need to be there and have to participate.”
He had been limited to walking around in a boot (although that is off now) and getting fitted with new shoes and foot protective equipment. He did practice lightly last week, albeit limitedly. He’s mostly concentrating on conditioning.
“I thought it was better, January through March, and thought I was finally past that point,” Scheffler said. “It took another running of a route and twisting it the wrong way to realize stuff happens. It’s part of the game.”
To get through last season, Scheffler wore a steel shank on the bottom of his sole. He said he has new shoes and orthotics, which he hopes will prevent any further problems. But he has reinjured the foot twice now since originally breaking it (saying he had a relapse sometime last season), and there’s a chance it could happen again.
“It was extremely uncomfortable but it got me through the games pretty well,” he said, admitting it might be two more years before the foot is pain-free. “It’s always in the back of your head, but you try to forget about it and play each day.”
Scheffler’s backup is Nate Jackson, who has all of 16 career catches for 156 yards and one touchdown.