Courtland Sutton did not miss a game his first two seasons. The Broncos receiver played only one game in 2020.
He missed the season opener after an AC joint separation in a Week 1 practice. Sutton returned to play 31 snaps in Week 2, and just like that, his season was over.
He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Sept. 20 loss to the Steelers.
Sutton, 25, spent the rest of the season rehabbing. On Jan. 14, he jogged on the knee for the first time since his injury.
“It was such a surreal moment,” Sutton told Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post. “I stood there, looked at my cleats, looked at the grass and just took in the moment. The last time I had cleats on was the day I got hurt.
“To jog like I did, 50 yards down and back, it was humbling and puts everything into perspective of how precious the day-to-day things are, like waking up and walking, like getting out of bed and your knee isn’t hurting, like being able to go up and down the stairs. It makes you appreciate all those little things even more.”
Sutton took about “three minutes” to sulk, but since his surgery, he has attacked every day “ferociously.” The goal is to return for the 2021 season opener.
Sutton is eligible for an extension, but after his injury, the Broncos are expected to wait to see how he returns from the injury. The former second-round pick will head into the final season of his contract ready to prove it.
“I’m not going to sweat about [the contract],” Sutton told O’Halloran. “The contract is controllable to an extent, but what I can really control is how I meet, how I practice, how I play. I’m going to continue to dominate this rehab and come back next season and dominate every practice and dominate every game. I’ll make sure to do those things so when it’s time to have a conversation, I’ll know I’ve done everything I can to put me in a position to get the best out of that next contract.”
Sutton had 42 catches for 704 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie and 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. He finished last season with three touches for 66 yards in his only game.