The long, tedious moments of rehab brought us to this point. Recovering from the second ACL surgery on his left knee, Bradley Chubb interrupted fans with a pleasant diversion Monday. Chubb, sans a brace, showed burst, leverage and strength as he exploded through a 40-second workout tease video on his Twitter feed set to Lil Yachty's "Pardon Me."
"Just getting that work in, just getting better, getting to it. Knee feels good, body feels good. Let's get to it," Chubb said.
It's impossible to overstate the importance of Chubb's rebound. The Westgate's SuperBookUSA set Chubb's odds of winning the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year honors at 20-1. If he remains in the conversation among players like Ben Roethlisberger, Rob Gronkowski and J.J. Watt, the Broncos will snap their four-year playoff drought.
Chubb is that good.
That he's moving, cutting and bursting nine months removed from his operation is encouraging. It leaves him on pace to have few — if any — restrictions when training camp opens on July 28, though he could start on a snap count. Lost in his absence was how well Chubb played in the first four games. Yes, he only had one sack, but he boasted six quarterback hits, five tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and 16 tackles, leaving him on pace for 64. He posted 48 in his rookie season.
"He fit in very well. He’s just good in all areas. He’s such a solid, consistent person in all areas of his life. He’s just got a lot of skill and ability," defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said recently. "But this is a Bronco that’s going to be a great Bronco for a long time; we just didn’t get to see enough of it last year because of the injury. We’ve seen him running on tape, and he’s full speed and ready to go. You’ll see a really good year from him.”
Chubb partially tore his ACL with 14:16 remaining in the fourth quarter against Jacksonville on Sept. 29. It was announced as dehydration, but the truth was jarring. Chubb returned to the game, a testament to his toughness and commitment, but an exam the following day revealed the damage. Chubb tore the ACL in the same knee in high school, leaving him aware of the hallmarks and milestones needed to reach in his road back.
Monday's video replaced optimism with evidence.
"We have been waiting patiently for this one! Astro Chubb," Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton tweeted.