The Denver Broncos have placed Jeff Heuerman on injured reserve and are calling up Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad.
The Denver Broncos had to make the unfortunate decision to place Jeff Heuerman on season-ending injured reserve. Heuerman, who is in a contract year, was having the best season of his career before a rib/lung injury he suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On the season, Heuerman was second on the Broncos (active players) in receptions (31) and had a pair of touchdown catches. He played his best game of the season in the Broncos’ unfortunate loss to the Houston Texans when Brandon McManus missed a last-second field goal.
The Broncos have suffered three major injuries at tight end this season, first losing rookie Troy Fumagalli — an All-Big Ten selection at his position — before the season even started.
A couple games into the regular season, the team lost second-year player Jake Butt, a former All-American who was picked in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft due to an ACL injury suffered in college.
Heuerman’s injury is, unfortunately, another in a long line of them since he joined the Broncos, but looking back at the last calendar year, he’s been playing his best football for the team.
Matt LaCosse (who was one of our five stars from Sunday’s win over the Steelers) will step into the number one tight end position and Brian Parker (more on him later) will be thrust into the number two tight end position.
Back in April, the thought had crossed my mind that neither LaCosse nor Parker would even be on the team at this point, and now they are going to be major factors in the offense.
Heuerman’s place on the roster will be taken by practice squad tight end Temarrick Hemingway, a former sixth-round pick of the Rams who is 25 years old.
Hemingway is 6-foot-5, 247 pounds out of South Carolina State, and was looked at coming out in the 2016 NFL Draft as a fluid athlete with skills worth developing. Many felt that coming out of college, Hemingway would need significant developmental time to adjust to the speed of the NFL, the physicality of his position, and the overall intricacies of the game.
Playing tight end in the NFL is not an overnight process, as the Broncos’ new top duo of LaCosse and Parker would attest. They have both been in the league for at least four seasons. Hemingway is still just 25 years old but is entering his third season working for teams in the league.
There’s no guarantee he will have involvement in the Broncos’ offense on Sunday against the Bengals, but Hemingway is a piece the Broncos could move around the offense.
The Broncos’ previous third tight end — Brian Parker — played a game-high nine offensive snaps against the Steelers this past week. His previous game high this season was five.
Hemingway should expect a role on special teams and potentially a package of plays where he will be involved as a secondary receiving option.