Early in his NFL career, Tyler Polumbus was one of the rare athletes that had a chance to play high school, college and professional football in his home state.
Finally, in 2010, he had to find a new home and for the next few years, he moved around a lot.
Today, the former Cherry Creek High School and University of Colorado standout is back home and on the verge of helping the Denver Broncos get to the Super Bowl.
“It’s great to be back,” Polumbus said this week as he and the Broncos prepared for Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. “It’s been a long journey for me. I started my career here and now I’m back and having some fun here. We’ve got a great opportunity in front of us.”
Undrafted in 2008, the 6-foot-8 Polumbus played the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Broncos.
Then came a whirlwind week in August of 2010. He was waived by the Broncos on Aug. 24 of that year, claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions the next day, and on Aug. 31 he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. After a year and a half in Seattle, he played for the Washington Redskins from 2011 to 2014.
Polumbus spent the first month of this season with the Atlanta Falcons and then signed with the Broncos on Oct. 1.
“This is home for me,” he said. “My house that I grew up in is about 10 minutes from this facility. I have all my friends and family around and that’s a huge blessing.”
A bonus to returning to the Broncos is better access to follow his Buffaloes.
“It’s been hard the last few years because I’ve been on the East Coast playing with the Redskins, so catching a game has been hard,” he said. “This year when I was back I got to see almost all of them on TV. I got a chance to go up to one game (against USC) and hang out on the sideline. I’ll be a Buff for life and I’ll always be watching when I can.”
For now, however, Polumbus is focused on the opportunity of playing in his first conference championship game. Prior to this season, Polumbus had been as far as the divisional round just once.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “This is as far as I’ve ever been in eight years. You have a chance to become a part of an elite fraternity, if you win this game, of people that played in a Super Bowl. Hopefully we take care of business.”
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.