As the Denver Broncos prepare for their first matchup of the regular season vs. the Las Vegas Raiders with it now officially being game week, one of the common questions amongst the fanbase consists of 'Will Jerry Jeudy be healthy in time for Sunday?' The answer to that question remains undecided as Jeudy continues to rehab from the hamstring injury he suffered in practice in late August.
However, a major sign of optimism among the Broncos front office and coaching staff regarding a potential return for Jeudy in the season opener is the decision to roster just three healthy receivers when the team cut down to 53 players last Tuesday. Rather than carrying five or six wide receivers on their active roster as many expected, the Broncos opted to side with just Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Brandon Johnson, and Marvin Mims Jr., likely signifying their confidence in Jeudy's progress in recovery and their goal to become a run-first offense in 2023.
While the team is expected to promote WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey from the practice squad to the active roster on game days, the Broncos seem highly confident and certain that Jeudy's hamstring injury will be nothing longer than a short, minor setback. Initial reports suggested that Jeudy could miss "several" weeks into the season with the injury but it appeared Jeudy hinted at a false sense to these claims via his social media:
Fast forward nearly two weeks and Jeudy is now questionable for the season opener rather than reports originally claiming he would be ruled out. Reports suggest Jeudy has made "incredible" progress in his recovery and could legitimately be making a return to the offense as soon as this week. GM George Paton and head coach Sean Payton have expressed their confidence in Jeudy's earlier return than expected by not acquiring any available receivers around the NFL besides David Sills V and Phillip Dorsett who are not expected to contribute much to the offense early on in the season. And while the Broncos were rumored to be involved in the trade market, no transactions were processed also signifying their trust in their wide receiver room.
Any moves are still possible, but where things stand now, Jerry Jeudy appears to have a realistic shot at an early return, especially with the help of new president of player health and performance, Beau Lowery, being a strong source in the 24-year-old's recovery. Lowery has a long track record dating back to his time with the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers where he is widely known for safely helping players return from lower-leg injuries in a timely fashion. It seems as if Jeudy has already benefited from the addition of Lowery as he could be starting Week 1 against the Raiders in Denver.
However, it will ultimately come down to the week of practice Jeudy strings together and how many limitations the coaching staff decides to give him. Regardless, much more optimism and hope for Jeudy's health exists in the building now as opposed to a few weeks ago as the Broncos look to defeat the Raiders for the first time since 2019.