BRONCOS

Kendall Hinton evolving from emergency QB to NFL wideout

Oct 14, 2021, 6:15 AM | Updated: 6:36 am
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 10: Kendall Hinton #9 of the Denver Broncos makes a catch agains...
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Kendall Hinton will likely forever be associated as the former college quarterback-turned-wideout who served as the emergency signal caller for the Denver Broncos in a Week 12 loss to the New Orleans Saints last season.

In fact, for his efforts, Hinton has already landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — or at least his wristband that he used in the historic game has.

But Hinton has quickly started turning heads for the position he’s been charged with playing in the NFL: wide receiver.

“Like we talked about in camp, you kept asking me who’s playing (well) and who’s looking good in OTAs and training camp. About every other day I mentioned him,” head coach Vic Fangio said on Wednesday. “He just keeps improving.

“He’s become a good receiver. With the injuries to Jerry (Jeudy) and K.J. (Hamler), he’s gotten an opportunity to play more.”

Indeed, Hinton has made the most of his opportunities to play this season, catching four passes on seven targets this season, including his first touchdown reception last weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Kendall — he’s a guy that’s just quiet, man. He doesn’t say much. He just comes to work every day and does everything that we ask of him,” said quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday. “He might have to go in and run five go routes in a row, and he won’t complain.

“He’s a guy who’s very selfless. I think everyone saw that last year when he had to go play quarterback against the Saints. Those are the type of guys we want on this team.”

“To some degree” Fangio said he’s been surprised by Hinton’s progress, but not since the start of OTAs this past offseason.

“I kept seeing steady progress. The light came on. He wasn’t a receiver in college,” Fangio said. “He’s gotten the benefit of being on the practice squad for a couple years.

“Learning takes guys time. Now, he can actually call himself an NFL wide receiver, and not somebody that was an ex-quarterback or ex-something trying to play receiver. He is a receiver.”

Hinton had a similar epiphany this offseason, that he does “belong here in the NFL as a receiver,” something that he reflects upon daily.

“Every day, I wake up, and it’s crazy — I’m playing in the NFL. It’s such a blessing, such an honor,” Hinton said. “Every day it’s wild. This journey continues, and through all the bumps in the road, I’m so appreciative of where I’m at now.

“Like you said, it’s good to sit back and enjoy those moments, but also preparing myself for what’s next.”

Broncos

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 17: Noah Fant (87) of the Denver Broncos sits on the grass after narrowly miss...
James Merilatt

Pick Six: Who is up and who is down after the Broncos loss in Week 6

When a team gets embarrassed on their home field, there are going to be more stocks falling than rising, as is the case with the Broncos
13 hours ago
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Alexander Johnson #45 of the Denver Broncos on the sidelines before a game...
James Merilatt

The Broncos are woefully thin at inside linebacker after latest injury

With both Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson lost for the season, oddly to the same injury, it'll be up to a couple of unfamiliar names to step up
13 hours ago
Baker Mayfield...
Cecil Lammey

Three keys to the Broncos beating the Browns on Thursday night

While things look bleak after an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, the quick turnaround may play into the Broncos hands as they head to Cleveland
13 hours ago
DENVER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 17: Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) takes a moment at Empo...
Ben Freid

Broncos players deserve plenty of blame for the team’s three-game slide

While it's easy to point the finger of blame at the coaching staff, the Broncos star players have been no-shows the past three weeks
13 hours ago
Drop the Mike...
Mike Evans

Re-arranging deck chairs and other observations from the Raiders debacle

While demanding change it an understandable point of view, it would be the wise or prudent course of action for George Paton to take
13 hours ago
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 21:Los Angeles Rams linebacker Micah Kiser (59) during the NFL preseason gam...
Cecil Lammey

60 Seconds: Next man up once again for the Broncos at ILB

Micah Kiser will be a downgrade for the Broncos in the run game compared to Alexander Johnson but perhaps an upgrade in pass defense
2 days ago
Kendall Hinton evolving from emergency QB to NFL wideout