For most of the 2023 season, the Denver Broncos have been without the "Joker" in their offense. The Broncos have lacked a true pass-catching weapon at the tight end position for most of the season, and that's because they really hedged all of their bets on second-year player Greg Dulcich. Unfortunately, Dulcich has continued to struggle with hamstring injuries, which have plagued him since the first OTAs of his rookie year.
That's a long time to deal with hamstring injuries for anyone, but it must be incredibly frustrating for Dulcich, who has game-changing abilities when he's healthy.
Although head coach Sean Payton isn't an "expert" on hamstring injuries, he gave some insight into how the Denver Broncos have been trying to figure out a way to get Dulcich healthy and ready to contribute:
"That’s a great question. I would be the last one to ask. We’ve studied body weight, gait, how he runs, and what’s different from college. He’s flown everywhere with his rehab. I do think we have a really good handle relative to moving forward. He’s seen a lot of specialists. A lot of times [it’s about] how much weight is the [body] meant to carry. I say that respectfully. Then, [it’s about] paying attention to it. He’s been really diligent—extremely diligent—in the recovery and everything he’s needed to do."- Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)
And now, that diligence and hard work has a chance to pay off as Dulcich had his practice window opened (he's currently on IR for the second time this year) and he was listed as a full participant in practice.
Having Dulcich back for this stretch run would be absolutely massive for this Denver Broncos offense. Of course, everyone is going to be wondering if Dulcich is going to be able to stay on the field, and even though he's practicing in "full", the Broncos have the luxury of being able to ramp him up at practice the next handful of weeks if they so choose.
But it also feels like Dulcich has been given plenty of extra time to heal up after this latest hamstring issue. He was hurt in the team's game against the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football back in October, so he's had at least eight weeks to recover, and this week is going on the ninth week removed from that particular game.
Hamstrings can be tricky and the Broncos will obviously need to be cautious, but having a weapon like this in the passing game? It could be a gift from the football gods as the Broncos try to separate themselves in the AFC playoff race.