ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For the past two and a half months, the Broncos' player personnel department has operated without one of its key members.
Director of Pro Personnel Tom Heckert has been on medical leave throughout the second half of the season and the postseason because of an illness. His ongoing treatment will prevent him from traveling with the organization to the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50.
Heckert's status was first reported by KUSA-Ch. 9 Saturday afternoon.
"I was recently diagnosed with a very treatable blood disorder," Heckert said. "I'm feeling better every day as a result of the treatments and hope to get back to work in the near future.
"The Broncos' organization -- in particular John Elway, Matt Russell and Joe Ellis -- have been extremely supportive and accommodating during the last few months. I sincerely appreciate everyone's kind thoughts and will be rooting for the Broncos to bring home a Super Bowl win."
Heckert joined the Broncos in 2013 after spending the first 22 years of his NFL career working with the Dolphins, Eagles and Browns. He served as Philadelphia's general manager from 2006-09 and held the same position in Cleveland from 2010-12 before jumping aboard in time for the Broncos' 2013 run to Super Bowl XLVIII.
In his role as pro-personnel director, Heckert has helped the Broncos become one of the most successful teams on the free-agent market. T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, Emmanuel Sanders, Darian Stewart, Owen Daniels, Jordan Norwood, Ryan Harris and Vance Walker are among the key veteran players acquired on Heckert's watch.
"Tom's a big part of our personnel department, and the Broncos support him 100 percent as he takes time to focus on his health," Elway said. "We're looking forward to Tom rejoining our staff as soon as he's cleared by his doctors."