KJ Hamler details unbelievable recovery from 2021 knee injury

Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler suffered a knee injury in 2021 and the recovery process was more complicated than anyone could have known.

Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler may not look much different to fans in Broncos Country in 2022 than he did in 2021.

Hamler is still wearing his no .1 jersey. He still looks incredibly fast. He’s still bringing that vibrant personality.

Although the before and after don’t look much different, the “dash” in between 2021-2022 for KJ Hamler involved a lot more than anyone could have really known.

KJ Hamler’s injury in 2021 was far more than meets the eye

The Denver Broncos’ official YouTube page dropped a video on Hamler’s story over the last year, and it was loaded with nuggets that nobody really knew about.

Everyone knew Hamler suffered a pretty serious knee injury against the New York Jets last year when he landed awkwardly on his left leg. As it turned out, it was serious.

Hamler’s injury was later revealed as a torn ACL, but that wasn’t all he was dealing with.

In this video, Hamler talks about a variety of issues he had in addition to the torn ACL.

  • Torn ACL (left knee)
  • Dislocated hip (left side)
  • Numb legs for 2-3 days
  • Doctors had to cut into his right knee to get a patella which is now the “ACL” in his left knee
  • Stuck in a hospital bed for 14 days, couldn’t move
  • Lost 40 pounds
  • Couldn’t shower for a week

As far as NFL injuries are concerned, this is about as bad as it can get, at least from the sounds of it.

Not only was Hamler dealing with a torn ACL in a knee he had already torn it, but he then had to deal with a dislocated hip and a procedure on his other knee to help fix the left one.

Just looking at KJ Hamler, where did he have 40 pounds to lose?

Hamler is listed at 178 pounds which means he was under 140 pounds at one point within the last year.

That’s all so difficult to digest when we saw Hamler out there in March looking like this:

And again participating out there at OTAs in June…

The speedy recovery for Hamler is as miraculous as it seems.

He noted in the “My Why” video (put together by Denver Broncos reporter/producer Sydney Jones) that he’s also back up to running 20 miles per hour.

Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett talked about how impressive Hamler has been since he got into the building.

"He’s done a really good job. I give him so much credit for [having] the injury that he had. To be able to come out here and do the RVAs and the individual [work] that he’s doing is awesome. It’s great to see him in that training room [and] how hard he works. He always talks about how he doesn’t have any fear, so I think that’s why he’s been able to progress the way that he has. He runs like nothing else matters and he’s just working every single day, so I really respect him for that.Nathaniel Hackett (via Broncos PR)"

KJ Hamler’s story and the progress he’s made this offseason are worth the 10 minutes it takes to watch the video posted above.

The Denver Broncos used a second-round pick on Hamler in the 2020 NFL Draft and so far, we’ve only been able to really see glimpses of the kind of playmaker he can become.

With Russell Wilson and the long ball back in Denver for 2022, perhaps Hamler’s career can really take flight, even after the major injury he suffered in 2022.