Have we seen the last of KJ Hamler with the Denver Broncos?
The Denver Broncos made a really bold move in the 2020 NFL Draft, passing on other needs the team had at the time to fortify the wide receiver position by taking players back-to-back to open up that draft class. In round one, the Broncos seemingly got a steal in former Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy, who was considered arguably the best receiver coming out in that class. In round two, they went with KJ Hamler, a former Penn State star whose stock had him falling to day two only because of injuries.
Three years into KJ Hamler‘s NFL career, unfortunately, injuries have been the prevailing storyline.
KJ Hamler suffers yet another injury set back with Denver Broncos
At this point, the injury updates regarding Hamler are just far too commonplace. I can only imagine how he’s feeling a year removed from recovering from his major hip and knee surgeries, multiple major procedures that caused him to lose a bunch of weight in the hospital. Then to regain full strength, look great in the offseason, only to have a setback with his knee early in the year, then another in a long line of hamstring injuries here midway/late in the 2022 season.
If you go back to Hamler’s pre-draft process, it was hamstring injuries that kept him from working out for teams and participating in the Scouting Combine.
Then in his rookie season, he suffered a hamstring injury during training camp that cost him the first game of the season. He then aggravated the hamstring four weeks later, came back for a good stretch of his rookie season, then suffered a concussion which landed him on IR late in the year.
In 2021, Hamler suffered the devastating knee and hip injuries, but not before he was held out of OTAs in June with lingering hamstring issues.
In 2022, he’s now suffered another hamstring injury with a setback in practice that could potentially cost him the rest of this season, and could cause the Denver Broncos to move on after the year.
You hate to see it for such a talented and impactful player, but at this point, Hamler’s lack of availability has really hurt the Broncos and it’s unfortunate to see. It’s certainly not something that he wants to be dealing with. Hamler is one of the brightest personalities on the team and you have to think this is something that is just brutal for him to have to deal with on a day to day basis.
What’s the most likely course of action for the Broncos? They probably want to wait as long as possible before shutting Hamler down for the season, but questions have been coming up regarding the team’s athletic training staff for a while now. The Broncos have suffered so many soft tissue injuries in recent years and they are one of the more frequently injured teams in the league, at least is what it feels like.
And as a matter of fact, the Broncos are among the league leaders with the percentage of the salary cap on IR this season. That has been a theme for the last couple of years, though it feels like KJ Hamler has far too frequently been in the training room versus on the field playing.
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In three seasons, out of a possible 44 games, we’ve seen Hamler appear in 23. This weekend will make it 23 out of 45 and who knows how far beyond that? The wide receiver position has become a position of potential desperate need for the Broncos in 2023.