Mon, 25 Oct 2021

Injury KJ Hamler to miss remainder of 2021 season

Denver Broncos
28 Sep 2021, 10:38 GMT+10

Aric DiLalla

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - A week after the Broncos placed two defensive starters on injured reserve, Denver's offense took a hit.

KJ Hamler will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury against the Jets, Head Coach Vic Fangio announced Monday.

Fangio said Hamler tore his ACL and has "some other stuff too" in his left knee.

The Broncos do not yet have a timeline for guards Graham Glasgow (knee) and Dalton Risner (foot), but Fangio said he does not believe their injuries are season ending.

"We're still waiting on some imaging," Fangio said.

Without Hamler, Fangio said the Broncos will evaluate their existing options at wide receiver on the roster and also look externally.

"We'll consider everybody we have here now and take a look at what might be available and make our choices, make our decisions," Fangio said.

Hamler was injured in the second quarter as he attempted to make a catch. He was assisted to the locker room and ruled out as the second half began.

He finishes the 2021 season with five catches for 74 yards.

"KJ's a hard guy to cover," Fangio said. "You saw the key third down that we made the conversion with him. They were in man coverage. The guy was nowhere near him. He's hard to cover, so we'll miss him."

Fangio said the Broncos would also miss his ability to stretch the defense. As Tim Patrick explained Monday, Hamler has speed that is different from other players on the roster.

"It hurts because he was, out of all the receivers, the different one," Patrick said. "He had god-given speed. So it's definitely tough."

The Broncos, who are already without Jerry Jeudy for several more weeks, will have to replace Hamler's production in a different fashion.

"[There's] definitely no replacing KJ," Patrick said. "You just replace him by making plays. That's more balls for other people, and when the ball comes your way, just make a play. It might not be in the way that he would do it, but there's other ways to make big plays."

The Broncos will also aim to replace Glasgow and Risner, who left the game in the second half, if they're unable to play in Week 4. Netane Muti and Quinn Meinerz filled in for the two players, respectively, and Fangio said he believes both players can be ready to start.

"[Denver's offensive line depth is] getting tested a little too early for my liking, but if you can bring a guy in like Muti or Meinerz, that's good," Fangio said.

Fangio also added that the Broncos are deeper than they've been in the past and that he believes the team will "be able to absorb it."

The Broncos could potentially regain at least one offensive weapon this week, as running back Mike Boone is eligible to return to practice and to the active roster after missing the last three weeks.

Fangio said Boone could "possibly ... but maybe not" return to the practice field this week.

Cornerback Michael Ojemudia, who is also eligible to return, will not practice this week.

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