The Denver Broncos are poised to get wide receiver Tim Patrick back this week against the Minnesota Vikings. How can he help the offense?
The Denver Broncos’ offense is getting another weapon against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Wide receiver Tim Patrick, who broke his hand in the team’s first game of the season against the Oakland Raiders, is practicing fully this week and is looking good in practice according to his head coach, Vic Fangio.
Fangio told the media on Wednesday that Patrick looked good in practice, and will probably be ready to contribute against the Vikings.
In addition to his contributions as a wide receiver, Patrick is a core special teams player for the Broncos.
At this point, most Broncos fans know a thing or two about Tim Patrick.
The 6-foot-4 receiver overcame a very serious injury in college to get a shot in the pros despite a very small sample size while he was at Utah, and he’s turned the initial opportunity he had with the Broncos, specifically, into a starting job with the team.
Patrick initially signed with the Broncos in 2017 as a practice squad member, and worked his way into the rotation in 2018 as a receiver and special teams player.
He ended up making some big plays and really ticked off Jon Gruden last Christmas Eve.
Before Patrick made that ridiculous catch against the Raiders late in the season, he helped set the Broncos up for victories with big plays against the Oakland Raiders at home and the Los Angeles Chargers on the road.
So what does the big-bodied receiver bring to the Broncos’ offense that can be utilized right away?
He, like Courtland Sutton, but not to the same degree, is an excellent “50-50” type of receiver who can use his great size to win one-on-one matchups against smaller defensive backs.
The Broncos also showed how effective slant routes could be in their offense, and Patrick is the type of guy who could take a lot of attention off of Courtland Sutton with his ability to win after the catch and create in space.
Furthermore, Patrick is the type of player the Broncos can trust to just run deep and create big plays by climbing up the ladder deep down the sideline and making a big play that way.
I would love to see Rich Scangarello get Patrick opportunities in space and find ways to make the Broncos’ passing attack multi-dimensional.
We saw snippets of that against the Cleveland Browns where Courtland Sutton’s moments of dominance were mixed with Noah Fant being involved in ways we all thought he could be. But the Broncos only threw 20 passes in that game and the majority of targets went to Sutton, Fant, and the backs.
There are going to be opportunities for this wide receiver group, specifically against the Vikings, to win one-on-one situations as the Broncos can expect stacked boxes and blitzes yet again. They’re going to need Patrick and the rest of the wideouts to be ready to make plays for the quarterback early on in this game to show the Vikings that they can’t just leave these guys in one-on-one situations.
Patrick has strong hands, size, and playmaking ability. He doesn’t need to come out and get 10 targets or anything, but the Broncos should give him the chance to go out and make plays against the Vikings, who rank 18th in the NFL in pass defense this season.