On Monday afternoon, Broncos' tight end Joel Dreessen had arthroscopic surgery. In late May, Dreessen had the surgery on the same knee that is currently giving the tight end issues.
The surgery went well for the Fort Morgan and Colorado State graduate. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks before he can starting doing football activities. However, airing on the side of caution, the Broncos are expected to hold Dreessen out all through preseason to get him ready for week 1 of the regular season.
Dreessen played 863 snaps for the Broncos last year, which lead all tight ends for the Broncos, playing just over 75% of the time. Last year, Dreessen would have 41 receptions for 356 yards and 5 touchdowns.
With Dreessen out and other expected starting TE Jacob Tamme struggling to get back on the field, this is a huge opportunity young Denver Broncos TEs: Jake O'Connell, Virgil Green and Julius Thomas. Thomas is already pushing to break the starting lineup. With the amount of valuable playing time Thomas is expected to get in preseason, he may just be able to cement himself as the Broncos playmaking TE if he can perform up to expectations.
The tight end position is one of the most unclear positions as far as predicting who stays and who gets cut. Not only is a roster spot at stake, but significant playing time as well. Although Dreessen is more than likely expected to be safe because he's a top blocker as a tight end, it's no guarantee. The skill level and competition at the position isn't exactly top heavy.