Broncos could be missing another key weapon against Texans

Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler. Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler. Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports /

Early on in training camp, the Denver Broncos lost wide receiver Tim Patrick to a season-ending knee injury. Rookie tight end Greg Dulcich, another player that was expected to play a huge role in the offense this season, is currently on IR and has been out for the majority of the last three months with a hamstring injury. Now, making his comeback from 2021 knee and hip injuries, the team could be without wide receiver KJ Hamler.

As of the time of this writing, head coach Nathaniel Hackett has not said anything definitive regarding Hamler’s status against the Houston Texans, but as of Friday afternoon, Hamler hadn’t practiced the entire week and was instead working with trainers off to a field on the side at practice.

Denver Broncos news: KJ Hamler’s status vs. Texans up in the air

Hamler played the entire game for the Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks, and although his involvement was minimal, he was out there and playing which was fantastic to see following his severe injuries in 2021.

Hackett stated earlier in the week that he wasn’t going to call Hamler’s current situation a “setback” from last year’s injury but that the team just wants to be smart and not rush him out there after the severity of what he went through. As miraculous as Hamler’s recovery has been over the last year, there’s no question that the Broncos had to know this was a significant possibility going into the season.

Unfortunately, the team lost one of its offseason darlings — undrafted rookie Brandon Johnson — to a high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale and kept Jalen Virgil on the final 53-man roster instead, along with fifth-round pick Montrell Washington. Should the Broncos be doing more to upgrade the wide receiver position? They obviously don’t think so, even after a barrage of injuries at the position already this year and seeing the war on attrition at that position last year.

The Broncos still have Tyrie Cleveland on the active roster along with Washington and Virgil, so those guys will be the next ones up in the event that Hamler does miss time. Beyond that, the Broncos have Vyncint Smith, Darrius Shepherd, and Kendall Hinton on the practice squad right now. Could one of those guys get called up to play against the Texans if Hamler can’t go?

Yes, the Broncos have bodies at receiver. Yes, they have players worth investing in, in terms of their development. But this position group has been an injury concern for years now. With veterans like Will Fuller and Odell Beckham Jr. sitting in free agency, what is preventing the Broncos from making a move?

Obviously, Beckham can’t play right now, but if you’re a team planning on contending for a Super Bowl, you’ve got to make the types of moves to back up that contender status.