WATCH: Broncos CB Bryce Callahan Flaunts Surgically Repaired Foot

Chad Jensen

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Denver Broncos' 2019 campaign was seeing two of the team's three prized free-agent acquisitions suffer season-ending injuries. In fairness, right tackle Ja'Wuan James never landed on injured reserve as the Broncos tried fruitlessly to massage his knee injury through the regular season. 

But at least James suited up and appeared in three games. When it came to cornerback Bryce Callahan, though, he missed all 16 games in 2019 due to a foot injury. 

After having surgery last fall to fix what turned out to be a broken screw in his foot, which snapped ostensibly when a teammate stepped on the injured limb in training camp, Callahan has now head more than half a year to rehab, recover, and work back to full strength. 

To showcase just how far he's come in his recovery, Callahan allowed a video of him working out to be released, which made clear where he's at health-wise. 

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The foot injury that plagued his first year in Denver was originally suffered in his final month as a Chicago Bear. After undergoing surgery to repair his broken foot, Callahan was placed on IR to finish the 2018 season. Just three short months later, he became an unrestricted free agent. 

With Callahan having been in the belly of the beast that was the Bears, Chicago had first-hand knowledge of his foot injury and prognosis and chose not to pursue him for re-signing. Denver's first-year head coach Vic Fangio, however, was in the Windy City as the Bears defensive coordinator and wasn't dissuaded from signing the nickel corner to a three-year deal worth $21 million to make him a Bronco. 

As the Bears secondary coach, current Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell personally coached Callahan through all four years of his Bears tenure. Perhaps none, including Fangio, knows what Callahan is capable of more than Donatell. 

Donatell has maintained an optimistic outlook on Callahan's recovery and revealed in a virtual press conference a couple of weeks back that the sixth-year corner is back to full health. 

“First of all, on the medical side, he’s ready to go," Donatell said back on June 11. "He’s running full speed. He’ll be right in our camp and ready to go. He’s been totally engaged.”

While it's encouraging to hear a coach speak positively of a player recovering from serious injury, what's actually convincing is any evidence to support it. With no in-the-flesh OTAs due to the pandemic, media and fans alike have been unable to catch a glimpse of Callahan. 

Now we can say with confidence that Callahan is back. It's just a matter of finding a way to stay healthy throughout the entire 2020 season, which Callahan has never been able to do as a pro. 

Entering the league as a college free agent out of Rice University in 2015, Callahan has missed at least three games in each of his five NFL seasons. Here's to hoping that 2020 is the year he snaps that dubious streak and manages to keep the injury bug at bay for 16 games. 

Callahan projects as the Broncos' No. 2 cornerback in base defense, while kicking inside to the slot in nickel and dime sub-packages. The Broncos acquired 2017 Pro Bowler A.J. Bouye via trade from Jacksonville this past spring and drafted Iowa's Michael Ojemudia in the third round. 

Combined with young incumbents like De'Vante Bausby, Isaac Yiadom, Duke Dawson, and Davante Harris, the Broncos have no shortage of bodies at cornerback. It's just a matter of the unproven guys stepping up and showing strong development in 2020.  

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (7)
No. 1-6
toddx7
toddx7

Let's hope Callahan's foot is healed and that he has a good seaon
at CB2.

RBA
RBA

Let's hope that there is a season. It would be terrible if we watch this incredible change to an exciting team only to have politicians decide we have to be quarantined at home and wearing masks instead of going to the games. Hopefully we individuals will be allowed to take a risk in order to enjoy a full life. Especially for those of us who are younger and would just be spending a few days in bed as we would with any flu.

Studlee14
Studlee14

The lack of faith with Callahan among fans and media is astounding to me. He was fully healthy last year and looked like the best CB on the Broncos until a freak accident reaggravated the injury. He has had almost a full year to recover yet people still want to say he "doesn't exist until I see it on the field". I'm more confident in Callahan than I am in Juwaan James.

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

Callahan can't be responsible for someone stepping on his foot after reporting to camp fully healthy - and showing it. What bugs me is the Broncos medical staff...their imagery didn't show a broken screw? Maybe it was hairline at first who knows. But stem cells or biologics or whatever doesn't fix a screw. Same with James knee...Erick last night was very understanding of his issue - he had no stability - thats not confidence or being soft. I think Fangio got bum medical advice when they cleared the guy to play and then Fangio made a rookie HC mistake in how the gruff olde skool guy characterized it. James seemed to be genuinely surprised by all the rancor late in the season -he also seemed sincere. Hardly a guy trying to skate. Well he has to go this season. I think another reason Elway was understanding is because he knew this and was not not going to throw the medical staff or Fangio under the bus. That said, James should never have been cleared to play. Even now, several players are out for the season with knees from private workouts. Stuff happens...

Jimrichard
Jimrichard

I'm not sure how one step on a foot would put a guy on IR that wasn't going to go there quickly anyway. Football is a contact sport and this guy would not have made it very far in the season if his foot was that fragile. So has the screw been removed and is the foot really healthy enough to take the abuse of contact ? So yes we do need to see him play and last a few games before trusting that he is really back. Would sure be nice to have a dependable secondary again.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

If the Broncos can keep Bouye, Chubb, Callahan, and James all healthy this year, this team could be really dangerous. All big ifs. The Broncos have had a lot of bad luck over the recent years. Maybe this is the time for things to shift in the other direction.


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