Denver Broncos: Which players should come off IR when healthy?

Sayre Bedinger
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19: Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19: Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: Wide receiver Tim Patrick #81 of the Denver Broncos stretches for yardage while being tackled by free safety D.J. Reed #32 of the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of a preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: Wide receiver Tim Patrick #81 of the Denver Broncos stretches for yardage while being tackled by free safety D.J. Reed #32 of the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of a preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Tim Patrick, WR

So far this season, the Broncos have to be disappointed with the lack of emergence from 2018 fourth-round pick DaeSean Hamilton.

Hamilton has made a couple of plays, but dropped a touchdown in a week one loss to the Oakland Raiders and has failed to really establish himself as the possession-slot receiver many had pegged him as.

It’s truly unfortunate, but it’s also due to the fact that the Broncos are a run-oriented team and Hamilton’s opportunities might be fewer as a result of that.

With that said, is the value of Tim Patrick coming back worth it considering the Broncos have Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders healthy, Hamilton, and guys like Fred Brown, Diontae Spencer, and Juwann Winfree behind them?

I’m not so sure.

Patrick can play special teams and provide some big play value offensively as a big-bodied downfield target. He made some really nice plays in 2018 including a couple of plays late in Broncos victories.

Because he comes back two weeks after the other guys, it’s hard to say what the Broncos will do here, but they would get eight games from the other three (Lock, Butt, Riddick) and seven from Patrick, who would be eligible to return to the field week 11 against the Vikings.

So, although he’s behind by a couple of weeks, the difference there is minimal with the team’s week 10 bye.

I would say Patrick has a 50-50 shot of coming back to the active roster after suffering a broken hand. His role as a third or fourth receiver and special teams player might be valuable enough to the Broncos to bring him back.

I think he has stiff competition from the next guy…

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