DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos have spent years trying to solve their tight end troubles.

Their inadequate coverage of tight ends and inability to get much production from their own are two of the biggest reasons they’ve fallen so far from their Super Bowl perch and have been looking up at the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West since 2016.

Both problems appeared to be fixed this season thanks to an influx of talent on defense and a return to health of Jake Butt Authentic Mike Remmers Jersey , who missed his rookie season last year after tearing up his right knee in his final game at Michigan.

Yet, Butt’s season is over after he tore his left ACL at a walkthrough practice Thursday and the Broncos haven’t shown much progress in throttling opposing tight ends, either.

In their opener, the Broncos allowed Seattle’s Will Dissly to become the first tight end in league history to top 100 yards receiving and score a touchdown in his NFL debut, one that included a 66-yard rumble featuring four missed tackles.

Butt’s third ACL tear was the crushing blow, coming four days before the Broncos (2-1) host the Chiefs (3-0) on Monday night .

“I felt for Jake right away,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “He’s worked so hard for the last two years to get himself back to this point. He was improving every day. He was making plays for us on Sundays. You can see the special ability this player had and the passion.

“This guy was the same guy every day: happy, fully engaged every day, a very smart football player. It’s a shame that it ended that way on that kind of play.”

The Broncos promoted third-year tight end Brian Parker from their practice squad Saturday when Butt joined rookie Troy Fumagalli on IR.

That means the Broncos’ tight end group now consists of two undrafted players in Parker and Matt LaCosse and 2015 third-round draft pick Jeff Heuerman, who has just 23 career catches and two touchdowns.

“He’s been a good pass-catcher for us,” Joseph said. “He’s always been a pretty good pass-catcher. Now, without Jake, obviously his targets should go up a little bit. But he’s done a great job in the past, especially in the red zone.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said, “We’re all just broken up about it.”

His loss is a big blow to the Broncos’ special teams, too.

“It’s a huge loss,” special teams coordinator Tom McMahon said. “He’s a great pro, he loves football. I love Jake. This football team loves Jake. How he acts as a man, if my boys can be that guy 10 years from now, I’ll be a very proud dad.”

Covering tight ends has been Denver’s Achilles heel for two years.

It was a big reason they didn’t make the playoffs in 2016 and last year they allowed the third-fewest yards (3,395) in the NFL, but tight ends accounted for 1 Andre Holmes Jersey ,023 of those yards — third-most in the league.

After focusing on fixing that all offseason, Dissly’s debut was a downer for the Broncos, who also allowed four catches for 49 yards to Oakland tight end Jared Cook the following week and Ravens rookie tight end Mark Andrews’ 12-yard TD catch last week.

Up next is Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, who had a 133-yard game against the Broncos last year.

“He’s just a guy that is hard to put a linebacker on because of his ability,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. “He has the size to match up with safeties. He’s really like a wide receiver and tight end. He’s definitely a difficult matchup, but I have a lot of confidence in the guys we have — Justin Simmons and our whole safety crew.

“I think we have a chance to go matchup at times against him and win our fair share.”

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Jared Goff watched the Los Angeles Rams‘ entire preseason from the sideline. He hasn’t thrown a pass in a game since last January, when he lost his first NFL playoff start.

When he steps under the Monday night lights in his native Bay Area, the third-year quarterback is eager to show what he’s learned and how he’s grown during eight long months without real football.

And for fans expecting a thrilling encore to last season’s utter transformation by Goff and the Rams’ offense, he plans to have a little something for them, too.

“There’s a bunch of stuff we’ve been working on this offseason that we’re ready to display on Monday night,” Goff said. “A lot of the stuff is from last season that we’re going to continue to do, and then a lot of new stuff that we’re doing. What we’re going to do, and how we’re going to do it, I don’t know. But there’s a lot of stuff that we’re excited to put on the field finally that we’ve been working on for so long this offseason.”

Goff is aware of the expectations on him as the Rams begin a season with Super Bowl expectations against the Oakland Raiders. With new coach Sean McVay guiding him last year, Goff shrugged off a disappointing rookie season and became one of the NFC’s most productive quarterbacks as the Rams doubled their point total from 2016 and made a seven-win improvement in the standings.

But Goff also knows he and the Rams haven’t actually proven much in the areas that matter, beyond winning a division title and asserting themselves as a contender. Goff’s 3,804 yards passing were 10th in the league — although he probably would have been higher if he hadn’t been rested for the season finale — and his completion percentage (62.1) was 17th.

Goff went into the offseason knowing he had ample work to do. His teammates and coaches say he has done it well, and they’re already seeing the results in practice.

“Just little stuff, like him telling me stuff when he doesn’t need to,” running back Todd Gurley said. “You just see his progression. Just going through his routes, going through the first receiver all the way down to his checkdown and to me. He’s been getting better each day Lane Taylor Jersey , just taking those little steps. (He) doesn’t like when he’s out there messing up, and that’s what you love in a quarterback.”

Goff got no preseason snaps because McVay decided he didn’t want to play his first-string offensive line, which started 15 consecutive games together last season and played a major role in keeping Goff upright and effective. So even though Goff probably could have used the work, however brief, he sat out in August along with Gurley and all of the Rams’ top skill-position players.

That means Goff will go into Monday’s game at Oakland having never thrown a pass in a game to Brandin Cooks, the Rams’ high-priced new receiver.

The way Goff looks at it, the inactivity means no opponents will know exactly what to expect from Los Angeles’ inventive coach and talented group of playmakers.

“Very excited to get some truly competitive action with our offense,” Goff said. “It’ll be really cool. The defense only played a little bit (in the preseason) too, and I know they’re excited as well.”

Goff, who grew up a 49ers fan in Marin County, has played in only one real NFL game back home. He beat the Niners last September with three touchdown passes in Santa Clara, earning the first road victory of his NFL career and the Rams’ first of 10 wins in 13 games.

But Goff’s NFL career technically began with another Monday night game in the Bay Area: The No. 1 overall pick was inactive as the third quarterback in the Rams’ season-opening, 28-0 loss to the 49ers two seasons ago. That year’s misery, which included Goff’s 0-7 record as a starter, was largely erased in the public mind by his impressive sophomore season.

Goff hasn’t forgotten the frustration of his rookie year, and it lingers as a motivating force.

“It does feel like a long time ago,” Goff said of that trip to Santa Clara in 2016. “I guess it was what, two years ago? It feels like forever ago. … I’ve grown up a lot in those two years. I was 21 then. I’m 23 now. Not too old now, but a little bit older than I was then.”