ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Chad Mustard really wants to begin his career as a high school math teacher and he'd like to get some substitute jobs under his belt until he lands that full-time job.
But he can't say no when the NFL keeps calling.
``I'm living the dream. Who would turn that down?'' Mustard said.
Mustard canceled three job interviews with school districts in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday and re-signed with the Denver Broncos after tight end Nate Jackson went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
This is Mustard's 11th pro contract and his sixth stint with the Broncos.
Coach Mike Shanahan must have him on speed dial by now.
``We've been pretty lucky,'' Shanahan said. ``He's very bright, picks up our system very quickly. He's here in town, so it's worked out fairly well.''
Actually, Mustard and his wife, Kalli, returned to Omaha two weeks ago, but it's only a short flight back.
d, a fifth-year tight end from North Dakota, has been waived 10 times in his NFL career, most recently by Denver on Nov. 4.
Instead of $140 a day substitute jobs, he'll earn a weekly paycheck of about $36,500 with the Broncos.
Good money, even if it comes with no job security.
``Football pays a little better,'' Mustard said. ``One-forty, that's not bad for a substitute teacher, either. Don't get me wrong.''
It's just that he'd have to sub 43 days to earn what he does in just one day with the Broncos.
The money's one thing, but Mustard said he still hasn't given up on his childhood dream of playing in the NFL.
``No, I think the guys who think that are the guys who don't ever get back,'' Mustard told The Associated Press. ``I'm still interested in playing football. I've still got a few games left in this old body of mine. So, I try to keep that attitude out of my head.''
Jackson injured his right hamstring in practice Wednesday. He appeared in 10 games this season, catching 11 passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.
A teammate texted the news to Mustard on Wednesday, so he packed some things just in case, and sure enough, he got the call from the Broncos at 6 p.m. and hopped on a plane two hours later.
``Yeah, it never surprises me,'' Mustard said. ``It's unfortunate circumstances because Nate's a good friend of mine and a teammate. But it's just part of the deal.''
en though he's thinking about his future in the classroom, Mustard spends plenty of his time in the gym.
``It's going to be hard to be in game shape, but I just do the same things,'' he said. ``I lift a little bit of weights and do some running and just keep myself mentally prepared.''
And the Broncos keep on calling.

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