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NFL Draft

Who Will Step Up For Broncos After Jerry Jeudy Injury?

  • The Draft Network
  • September 15, 2021
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The Denver Broncos looked excellent on both sides of the ball during their 27-13 Week 1 victory over the New York Giants, but they didn’t come out of that game unscathed. Sophomore wide receiver Jerry Jeudy suffered an ankle injury, and will now miss at least the next three weeks (and likely more) after being placed on injured reserve.

Things could have been worse, as the broadcast view of the injury indicated that it could have been of the season-ending variety. Nonetheless, It’s a tough blow for a player that started his second campaign well. Prior to exiting Sunday’s game with the gruesome injury, Jeudy caught 6-of-7 targets for 72 yards while mainly operating out of the slot.

The Broncos will now turn to a number of candidates that could step up in Jeudy’s absence. KJ Hamler will receive a lot of fanfare this week, seeing that he’s the player that will take over Jeudy’s role in the slot. A former Penn State standout, Hamler has the skill set necessary to make the most of this newfound opportunity. But he’s not the guy I’m personally expecting to take a huge step forward in the coming weeks. No, that title belongs to Tim Patrick, who quietly put in an efficient performance by catching all four of his targets for 39 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

Patrick played 46 snaps compared to Hamler’s 24 against the Giants. While we expect that number to even out some in Week 2, I expect Patrick to receive the bulk of the available targets going forward.

Patrick has always been an underappreciated player, but look for him to shine as he continues to build chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater over the coming weeks. The 27-year-old receiver set career-highs in receptions (51), yards (742), touchdowns (6), and yards per catch (14.6) in 2020. Patrick stepped up to the plate when his number was called upon a year ago. An impressive 65% of his receptions moved the chains in 2020, and 14 of them went for more than 20 yards. 

The Broncos are about to call on him again, and I expect Patrick to answer the call. Patrick has continuously improved every year since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2017. Patrick stepped up in a major way when Courtland Sutton went down with his own injury in 2020, and we fully expect him to do it again with Jeudy out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

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