Broncos injury update: Hamler to IR; CB Williams out
BALTIMORE — Days after suffering a setback in his recovery from a Nov. 9 hamstring injury, wide receiver KJ Hamler landed on injured reserve for the second time in the last two seasons.
Hamler had been considered “week-to-week” as he worked his way back from the injury, which he suffered in practice last month four days before the Broncos lost at Tennessee.
The move to IR means Hamler will miss at least four games — with just six left in the season. Denver can return eight players per season from injured reserve to the 53-player roster. RB Mike Boone is the fifth of those; the Broncos designated him for return from injured reserve this week and activated him Saturday.
Hamler is one of 15 players on the Broncos’ injured reserve list. That includes nine first-teamers: LT Garett Bolles, C Lloyd Cushenberry, CB Ronald Darby, edge rusher Randy Gregory, ILB Jonas Griffith, WR Tim Patrick, RT Billy Turner, RB Javonte Williams and now, Hamler.
Injuries have defined Hamler’s career as much as his blazing speed. He dealt with hamstring injuries in 2020 beginning with that year’s scouting combine, but managed to play 13 of 16 games.
But three games into the 2021 campaign, he suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated hip when going up for a pass in a Week 3 win over the New York Jets. Those injuries ended his season and left him touch-and-go for this campaign.
Hamler returned in time to play in the Broncos’ preseason finale this year. Sixteen days later, he returned to regular-season action in the Week 1 loss at Seattle. After the Broncos scratched him in Week 2, he played six-straight games prior to the bye.
Despite having just 7 catches in 7 games, Hamler is Denver’s most potent deep threat. He has three of the Broncos’ seven receptions of at least 40 yards.
Denver has averaged just 13.0 offensive points per game without Hamler this season. Of course, they didn’t do much better with him, averaging just 14.7 points per game in his seven contests.
To fill the roster vacancy created by Hamler’s move to IR, the Broncos promoted Brandon Johnson from the practice squad to the 53-player roster.
Denver will also play Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens without slot CB K’Waun Williams. Williams will miss a third consecutive game following a knee injury he suffered against the Titans.
Williams practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, but the Broncos opted to hold him back for at least one more game. Essang Bassey is expected to continue working at the slot in his place.