Just four days after he thought sure he was finished for the year, Garett Bolles’ football season was raised from the cart.
The Broncos rookie left tackle suffered a left ankle injury Sunday while blocking near the goal line against the Cowboys.
It appeared so serious, Bolles had to be carted off the field. Fearing the worst, he was extremely distraught, then pulled himself together and waved his appreciation to the crowd.
“That’s my emotion, man,’’ Bolles said Thursday. You guys would go through the same thing if you feel like the injury was worse than what it is. Anyone would do that.’’
As it turns out, Bolles wasn’t waving goodbye. He was saying, see ya Thursday.
Surprisingly, Bolles returned to practice four days after it appeared his season was doomed.
“The initial injury we thought was more serious,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “He’s treated and he’s getting better fast. He’s not there yet, so we’re not sure if he’s going to play Sunday, but he’s getting better fast.”
It sure looks like Bolles is playing Sunday at Buffalo. He tested out his ankle with trainers before practice Thursday. It felt good enough to put on shoulder pads, a helmet and go through drills, including with the first team. He was limited so he didn’t take all the reps. Donald Stephenson is getting ready just in case Bolles’ bone bruise flares up.
But Bolles is a tough guy. The fact he’s back this quick is testament to not only his toughness but passion for playing the game.
“I love this game and I thought this game was going to end sooner than I thought for me this season,’’ Bolles said. “Coming back and what they were telling me, we didn’t really know what the diagnoses was. When I got back here, I figured out what my MRI was and things like that, I knew that I was going to be able to come back. I didn’t know how fast as I was going to go and how fast my leg was going to heal. It felt good today, and I was grateful. When I came out here, it was definitely the best thing to be back out here with my brothers knowing this is the greatest sport that any man can play.’’
Bolles is so genuine, you can’t help but love him. And it is out of love that his brothers – more specifically his offensive linemates -- are giving him the business this week for his Lazarus-like return. No one a rookie can make such a dramatic exit and return four days later and not get guff from his teammates.
“Yeah, we’ve been throwing some jabs at him,’’ said Broncos right guard Ron Leary. “I’m not going to say exactly what we’ve been saying but like you say, you get carted off we thought it was over him. Thankfully we dodged that bullet.’’
It may be a bit much to say Bolles' return is a comeback of biblical proportions. But it did create some buzz around Broncos headquarters.