There’s been a lot of buzz around the 2022 Denver Broncos. That’s because back in March, the team traded for 9x Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson.
With Wilson throwing to names such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, fans leaguewide wait in anticipation to see what this Broncos squad can do.
Unfortunately, fans won’t get to see the full extent of this talented offense – At least not during the ’22 season. On Tuesday, wideout Tim Patrick tore his ACL at practice, ending his season before it began.
— NFL (@NFL) August 2, 2022
Patrick has totaled 164 catches and 1,467 receiving yards since becoming a fulltime starter in 2020. The 28-year-old has also totaled 11 touchdowns in this timespan.
In his first year as a starting receiver, Patrick earned a PFF grade of 74.5. The following season, during his ’21 campaign, the Broncos’ wideout received a grade of 71.2.
The former Utah pass catcher has been a key part in Denver’s passing offense, and now the Broncos must look to find a replacement for the upcoming season. But who?
Here are 2 players who can replace Tim Patrick in 2022.
2 Players Who Can Help Russell Wilson after Tim Patrick injury
2. Odell Beckham Jr
The Broncos currently have someone on the roster who’s primed to take over for Tim Patrick (we’ll get there soon). If Denver isn’t satisfied with what they have, though, bringing in Odell Beckham Jr makes a lot of sense.
Odell has been waiting for a home since free agency began, and with a vacant starting wideout spot opposite of Courtland Sutton, the Broncos may be a perfect fit.
Per Spotrac, Denver currently has $10.8 million cap space remaining. This should be right around the price tag OBJ commands, and if it falls short for whatever reason, contracts can always be restructured to free up additional space.
The plan would be simple here – Bring the Super Bowl winning receiver in on a one-year deal for the ’22 season. Beckham would fill the void left by Tim Patrick’s injury, and the Broncos have no long-term commitment once Patrick returns in 2023.
For the former Ram, this also makes sense for his future. Odell knows he’ll be a starter on a team with All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, as well as weapons such as Sutton and Jeudy to make things easier for him. Fill up the stat sheet and get ready for a pay-day next year after your one-year deal is up.
Both parties win in this deal.
1. KJ Hamler
Of all the ways Denver can replace Patrick, this is the most likely to happen.
The Broncos have high hopes in KJ Hamler, who the team drafted in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This selection came just 31-picks after receiver Jerry Jeudy was drafted by the team in round one, hoping to pair two electric rookies together for a long while.
That still may happen, but things haven’t gone quite how Hamler has hoped up to this point.
During his rookie year, in 2022, Hamler recorded 30 receptions for 381 yards and three touchdowns. The Penn State alum also carried the ball on the ground 9 times for 40 rushing yards. Hamler ended the season being placed on the Injured Reserves list with a hamstring injury prior to the start of Denver’s final regular season game.
For the season, Pro Football Focus gave the Broncos’ rookie a grade of 55.9.
2021 was when things truly went south for Hamler. In a week-3 contest against the Jets, the 23-year-old tore his ACL, putting an end to his season.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the entire trajectory of the Broncos’ season changed with Hamler out. After starting 3-0 with their second-year wideout at their side, Denver would lose each of their next four contests, finding themselves at 3-4. The team would end the regular season with a 7-10 record.
On Monday, Hamler opened up about his struggles throughout last year.
“It’s been a tough journey, to be honest. There was such much stuff I was dealing with and being piled up on top of each other. At one point, just dealing with the ACL and then some more things, family situations. The love of my life passed – My grandmother – so that was the toughest thing. That was on my back for a while.”
Hamler stated at one point, he “Didn’t want to be in this world”. Since, the Broncos’ receiver has been glad to inform us all he’s doing much better – both mentally and physically – and finds himself happier.
Emotionally, Hamler’s story will only make him stronger. If the third-year receiver can translate that strength onto the field, the talented wideout can truly take the league by storm.