Hamler injury leaves Broncos thin at wide receiver
Suddenly, one of the deepest position groups on the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2021 season has grown exceedingly thin.
First reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday, Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets. He injured the knee after landing awkwardly toward the end of the first half while going up for a catch and did not return.
After the game, Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater called it “tough” when guys like Hamler go down with injuries, saying it’s the part of football that “really sucks.”
“The most important thing is his health, so it’s tough seeing a guy who is a competitor who works so hard and gets his opportunity and something like that happens, man it’s very tough,” Bridgewater said.
Hamler joins a growing list of Broncos players who’ve been stung by the injury bug early on this season, including fellow second-year receiver Jerry Jeudy, who’s currently on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Denver, which at the time had a crowded receiving room, also parted ways with perhaps the most consistent wideout in training camp — Trinity Benson — trading him to the Detroit Lions in late August along with a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2022 fifth- and seventh-round pick.
Currently, the Broncos depth at wide receiver includes starters Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick followed by Kendall Hinton and Diontae Spencer.
Denver does have several wideouts on their practice squad: Tyrie Cleveland, Rico Gafford, De’Mornay Pierson-El and Seth Williams, whom Denver selected in the sixth-round of this year’s NFL Draft out of Auburn.
Other Broncos who’ve landed on injured reserve already through three weeks includes cornerbacks Michael Ojemudia and Ronald Darby, inside linebacker Josey Jewell and pass rusher Bradley Chubb.