ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After Bradley Chubb suffered a partially torn ACL against the Jaguars in Week 4, he could no longer join his teammates on the field.
That didn’t mean he strayed far.
Chubb was in the home locker room after Sunday’s game, enjoying a 24-19 win with his teammates.
During the game, though, Chubb was forced to watch with his family from the suite level of Empower Field at Mile High.
Even from up above, Chubb felt the same emotions as when he was terrorizing quarterbacks earlier this season.
“This defense is playing great,” said Chubb on Monday at an event his charitable foundation hosted for local children. “The whole team is playing great. There’s been some tough losses still, but I feel like we’re all going to change that around. Yesterday was my first game back since I got hurt and just the atmosphere, just being around it again has just made me so [excited]. I got butterflies like I was going to go out and play. It’s going to be fun next year. Right now, my focus is just getting back to it.”
Chubb said he hopes to rejoin meetings with his teammates as the season progresses and his rehabilitation process from surgery continues.
“At the end of the day, I feel like it’s easy in the NFL to distance yourself because you don’t have to go to a class,” Chubb said. “Like in college, you go to class and go to meetings and stuff like that, but it’s easy to distance yourself in the NFL. As a leader, I try to stay engaged as much as I can and, when I’m able to miss out on 10 minutes of treatment just to sit in those meetings and be around the atmosphere because, at the end of the day, I’m going to be here next year and I’m going to be in the same scheme and the same defense. I’ve got to get comfortable with it, I’ve got to make sure I know it like the back of my hand next year while I have a whole year to sit out and learn it.”
The first steps of the physical rehabilitation have gone well. Chubb said he’s “feeling better each and every day,” and that he’s aiming to take small steps toward a recovery.
Chubb said the surgery differed from the one he underwent after he tore his ACL in high school but that “everything went as planned.”
“I’m attacking it the same,” Chubb said. “I know I’ll be better from it and I’ll be a whole different player, a whole different person from it, as well. I’m just excited to see what this whole injury brings to a new life.”
Chubb said he won’t take those small steps for granted as he recovers from a “mammoth injury,” but he admits it has been difficult to remain patient.
“It definitely is frustrating because, as a professional athlete and as a competitor, you want to go full out, everything you do, but sometimes they tell you to scale back and trust what they’re saying,” Chubb said. “It’s hard sometimes, but when you’re feeling better, when you’re seeing results, it starts to get easier. Probably that first week and a half, it was hard just to listen because it’s like, ‘I feel like I could be doing more. I feel like I could be doing more.’ But everybody has a plan for me, and I’m just trusting them now and feeling 10 times better.”
Just five weeks removed from the injury, it’s clear Chubb cannot wait to be back in the locker room and back on the field.
“It definitely takes a toll on you, when this is your job and this is your livelihood — you want to do it to the best of your abilities, but you can’t right now,” Chubb said. “It definitely is hard. … At the end of the day, I know I’m going to be better from it. My teammates know I’m going to be better from it and we’re all going to be. … If I’m better from it, I feel like, as a team, we can be better from it. So, it’s going to be fun.”