Lost during last night's Super Bowl 45, Vic Lombardi reported that Denver Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal underwent hip surgery recently and will require six months of rehab to get back onto the field. Given the uncertain state of the NFL's labor situation, Royal may not even see the gridiron in 2011. But if the owners and the players union do reach a new labor agreement, Royal could return to practice in August. He'll be behind his teammates, so a late start to his season is possible.
Royal, a third-year player, played in all 16 games in 2010, but he had a nagging hamstring injury throughout the fall. He had 59 receptions for 627 yards and three touchdowns, playing mostly out of the slot in three-wide receiver sets.
Demaryius Thomas, a first-round rookie in 2010, never quite had an impact for the Broncos in 2010, but Royal's recovery could open a spot for Thomas to make an impact in 2011.