The rookie season of Broncos TE Julius Thomas went downhill on the first reception of his NFL career. On a 5-yard catch against Cincinnati last September, Thomas injured his right ankle. He left that game and ended up missing a total of 14 games — 12 in the regular season and both of the Broncos' playoff games — because of the injury.
He had surgery in April and is recovering from that procedure. He hasn't participated in the Broncos' offseason conditioning program or in any of the team's OTAs, and he won't participate in the three-day minicamp this week.
When he returns, Thomas will have to compete with newcomers Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, a Colorado State product from Fort Morgan, for playing time.
Tamme and Dreessen weren't signed to watch. They likely will have big roles in the offense. So playing time won't be easy for Thomas to acquire whenever he returns.